What I am wondeing about is how much heat is rejected through that plastic oil pan, versus how much heat was rejected through the aluminum pan. So probably oil cooling capacity had to be added someplace else, which may not be a problem, but must certainly be a consideration. And my guess is that the bottom surface with all of those close-spaced fins, will pick up and hold a lot of dirt. So what will be very interesting and educational for all of us is to see the reports on these oil pans in two or three years.
Chuck, even though I should be used to heat-tolerant plastic by now, such as in underhood applications, I'm not. Like you, I find it startling and counter-intuitive. There are even heat-tolerant thermoplastics, which makes that term really seem like a misnomer.
It's amazing to see how pany parts are changing over to plastics, Ann, even in applications involving heat. I can remember interviewing GM engineers many years ago about a plastic air induction system. It seemed so shocking back then.
Rob, I just interviewed Ford's manager of product sustainability and got a lot more info about what they're doing with bio-based and recycled materials. It's much more extensive, especially the R&D, than I realized. Stay tuned.
Looks like the movement toward lighter materials in the automotive sector is paying off. In Chuck's slideshlow today on deisel-powered cars, he gave an example of thew VW XL1, which weights in at less than 1800 pounds.
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