HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Engineering Materials

BMW Engine Powered by Aluminum Piston

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/2
Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Is aluminum strong enough?
Charles Murray   7/13/2012 6:08:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice story, Ann. Do you know if these pistons use cast iron cylinder liners? Going way back to the old Chevrolet Vega (does anyone remember the Vega?), engineers have tried to use aluminum. When the Vega's engine had problems, engine builders started employing the cast iron liners. In the '90s, engineers got rid of the cast iron liners and started using hypereutectic aluminum alloys for the blocks and various coatings for the inside of the cylinder, but I don't know how that came out. Are they still using the liners?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Is aluminum strong enough?
Ann R. Thryft   7/13/2012 12:45:57 PM
NO RATINGS
Dave, thanks for the feedback on the re-melting process. I agree, it doesn't sound intuitively obvious as a manufacturing process. Regarding the alloy, I'd like to know, too: no details on this product were given. On the company's website appears this general statement about their aluminum pistons. but whether it applies to the new diesel piston is not clear: "We offer aluminum diesel pistons made of Federal-Mogul's exclusive, high-strength B3 alloy (2006) for high-end light-vehicle diesel applications, giving a 10 percent higher fatigue resistance at 440º C to absorb extreme loads in performance engines."

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Is aluminum strong enough?
Dave Palmer   7/13/2012 12:19:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, do you know what kind of aluminum Federal Mogul is using for this application? I assume it is an aluminum-silicon alloy.  Do you know if it is hypereutectic, eutectic, or hypoeutectic? (This is metallurgy-speak for more than 12% silicon, about 12% silicon, or less than 12% silicon).

The DuraBowl re-melting process is interesting, and, like many good ideas, seems obvious in retrospect.  Doing failure analysis of aluminum pistons, I've often observed that areas which melted (in service!) are much harder and have a much finer microstructure than the surrounding area.  But I'm not sure that it would have occurred to me to exploit this as a manufacturing process.

Friction stir processing is another way to achieve improved properties in the piston bowl area.  I'm not sure whether anyone is doing this commercially yet, but there is a lot of interest in it.  At last year's Materials Science and Technology conference, Dr. Saumyadeep Jana gave a presentation on friction stir processing of cast aluminum alloys; during the Q&A session, it was clear that just about everyone in the audience (including myself!) had pistons on their mind.  I strongly suspect we'll be seeing friction stir processed pistons in the next couple years.  This would be a good topic for an article.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Is aluminum strong enough?
Ann R. Thryft   7/13/2012 11:50:37 AM
NO RATINGS
The aluminum industry has been working on high-strength versions, including alloys such as aluminum-lithium, for some time now. For example, it's the major metal in aircraft, where it's mostly replaced steel (see my upcoming July feature article on aircraft materials). We've also covered a brake rotor prototype made of an aluminum composite:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=239090
Aluminum rotors aren't new, but this one is managing to keep up with the increasing heat requirements of today's smaller, hotter engines, not a small feat. There are some under-hood applications of plastics, including carbon composites, such as this one I wrote about
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=243857
but AFAIK, not yet in car engines.

richnass
User Rank
Blogger
Is aluminum strong enough?
richnass   7/13/2012 10:49:48 AM
NO RATINGS
I'm a little surprised that they found that aluminum is strong enough for this application. And very pleased, asuming it can work well over time. Is plastic next?

<<  <  Page 2/2
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Engineering Materials
At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show in Paris last month, makers of composite materials, software, and process equipment showed off their latest innovations. This year's show saw some announcements related to automotive applications, but many of the improvements came in the world of aerospace.
The DuPont-sponsored Plastics Industry Trends survey shows engineers want improved performance in a broad range of plastics and better recycling technology. These concerns top even processing enhancements that improve productivity.
Plastics leader SABIC recently announced a global initiative to help its customers take advantage of additive manufacturing (AM) and also advance 3D printing (3DP) technologies in several application areas. The company's plans go way beyond materials, and also include design, processing, and part performance.
A theme that was reflected in several ways at NPE 2015 was the use of 3D printing to assist in, or improve on, injection molding, as well as improvements in 3D printing materials and processes that are making better functional prototypes and end-use parts.
In this second materials slideshow from NPE2015, we've got some plastics that vendors were showcasing, including products made with them, and others that were brand-new introductions at the show.
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service