Manufacturing an internal combustion engine from extruded aluminum alloy rather than conventional casting offers many benefits, including big size and cost savings. So says Power Beat International Ltd., a research and development company based in Hamilton, New Zealand. Powerbeat's ALU-X(TM) engine employs interlocking sectioned extruded profiles to form the engine block. Replacing one-piece cast blocks, the company claims, allows engines of different capacities, cylinder numbers, and stroke lengths to be made from the same parts. Engine assembly is quick and easy: Tie bolts hold stressed components in compression, eliminating the need for load bearing threaded holes within the block; tee slots incorporated into the extrusion profile allow simple attachment of auxiliary components. Other benefits include superior grain structure for accurate bores and finishes; lower capital costs, higher production capacity; high power-to-weight ratio. Power Beat International is currently developing 200-cc versions of the ALU-X to suit the small engine market. Contact Evan Bydder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +64-7-843-0011.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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