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Post #1 Sun, Aug 19, 10:16 AM
Nortad
Senior Member - 417

After that talk about magnesium engines, I remember reading something a few years ago about a "plastic engine" made out of carbon fiber and some special polimer with a high temperature resistance. I know Ford was somewhat envolved in it and there was a racing Lola with a 2.3l 4cylinder "plastic" version of the 2.3l engine on the Mustang.

Do you guys have any more info on that?

Post #2 Sun, Aug 19, 5:23 PM
VICIOUS
673 Karma - 69091

I actually read about one a couple days ago. It was an independent venture back in '89 or something.

I'll try to find out about it tomorrow.

You open the closet door. Digging through the BF:BC2 posters and PS3 game cases, something in the back catches your eye. You pull it out, and it is a carbon steel sword with a nylon grip. It looks brand new.

It has an inscription along the blade. L-O-N-G-N-E-C-K-E-R

Post #3 Tue, Aug 21, 3:37 AM
markotarma
Supercar Messi - 3017

cool to have an engine made out of carbon fibre and maybe the cylinders of metal? it would be very strong and light! the only problem is the cost and it it breaks, you can't bore it much further...
It seems like I've been banned :'(

Post #4 Tue, Aug 21, 4:00 AM
Big Rob
Big Rob - 68068

Quote from markotarma
cool to have an engine made out of carbon fibre and maybe the cylinders of metal? it would be very strong and light! the only problem is the cost and it it breaks, you can't bore it much further...
Shut up.
I like Lotus.The cool,fast cars they,I like cars.

Post #5 Tue, Aug 21, 4:01 AM
VICIOUS
673 Karma - 69091

Quote from VICIOUS
I actually read about one a couple days ago. It was an independent venture back in '89 or something.

I'll try to find out about it tomorrow.
The article was from National Geographic December 1989, it was about advanced materials.
They also talked about a ceramic engine being developed by Isuzu.

The highpoints of the ceramic engine were that it could take more heat and not reject it like a tradional metal engine.

The article also projected that cars with ceramic gas turbines would be on the road by 2000 or something.

However, I couldn't find a copy of the article to get names or anything about the polymer engine. I remember the picture of the dude carrying it though, it was super light.

You open the closet door. Digging through the BF:BC2 posters and PS3 game cases, something in the back catches your eye. You pull it out, and it is a carbon steel sword with a nylon grip. It looks brand new.

It has an inscription along the blade. L-O-N-G-N-E-C-K-E-R

Post #6 Tue, Aug 21, 5:18 PM
Pyro Maniac
Supercar Messi - 8256

Quote from markotarma
cool to have an engine made out of carbon fibre and maybe the cylinders of metal? it would be very strong and light! the only problem is the cost and it it breaks, you can't bore it much further...
Problem: the pistons/cylinders/heads would expand and the block would not. Maybe one day, when we have that sweet ass sweet nanotechnology I hear about that promises so much, and they create a composite that could expand and stay rigid. At that same day we could have floating magnetic bearings using some ubersweet superconducting nanoshit, and super sticky tires that literally grab the road and hold on for dear #$%#ing life, and regenerate too... Sorry, just dreaming with my keyboard. I'll have to hide the chubby before someone notices.
Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Post #7 Thu, Aug 23, 3:39 PM
VeNoM
Supercar Messi - 9519

Torlon is the polymer in question. This is a posting with some good info from a guy named Engineguy in this thread http://forums.autosport.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=56971&highlight=polimotor



"From my post here a year ago:

Funny you should ask... I happen to have in front of me a six-page brochure that Amoco Chemicals sent to me in October of 1985 (I never throw this sort of thing away).

Title: TORLON Plastic Engine Parts by Amoco Chemicals

First page tells about the 1985 IMSA season in which the Polimotor Lola GTP Lights car had several top five finishes.

Second page shows the engine... appears (and from my memory) head is metal (Cosworth BDx? Ford was involved with Polimotor at some point I think). Seperate cylinder block, upper crankcase, lower crankcase (sump), are cabon fiber fabrications (resin injection molded using phenolic resin, not epoxy as I recall).

2 litre, 318HP @ 9500RPM, weighs 168 lbs, 100 lbs of which are the 59 plastic parts.

Designer of the engine and owner of Polimotor is Matty Holtzberg.

"Torlon parts are perfectly suited to the engine, because they are strong and tough at temperatures up to 500 degrees F. While some other plastics may take this temperature, Torlon poly(amide-imide) offered Holtzberg a material which can be fabricated to precise detail via injection molding. This economical process lowers unit cost, a critical factor for commercialization of the technology, given the relatively high price of the plastic when compared to traditional materials."

Third page: Torlon Plastic Engine Parts Race-proven in IMSA Competition

"These photos represent the Torlon parts actually used in the Polimotor Plastic engine" (photo shows hybrid piston, piston ring, fat con rod shaped like drag racing aluminum con rod, and wrist pin)

"The head on this piston is metal, and the skirt is made of Torlon polymer. The part is 35% lighter than an all-metal piston. Decreasing the weight of powertrain components reduces secondary shaking forces, which are of major concern in today's four cylinder engines."

"The number-one piston ring in the Polymotor Lola is metal, because it must transfer heat away from the piston. The number-two ring is made of Torlon polymer."

"The con-rods in the Polimotor Lola are made of Torlon-C, a developmental advanced thermoplastic composite from Amoco Chemicals. It represents a 49% weight reduction versus metal."

"Torlon parts are not only tough, they can absorb impact energy better than metal, which is one reason why the material is suited for wrist pins."

(another picture shows hybrid intake valve, valve spring retainer, and bucket-type tappet)

"More than 75% of the weight of an intake valve is cut by substituting Torlon stems for steel. Torlon valve spring retainers weigh only 9 grams each, while a comparable steel retainer weighs about 22 grams."

"Inverted bucket-type tappets made of Torlon polymer contribute to the lower weight of valve train components, which reduces inertia and decreses the spring load needed to prevent valve float."

Fourth page: Shows Torlon timing gears... used "as-molded"... no hobbing.

"Torlon poly(amide-imide) is an injection moldable thermoplastic which maintains high strength at temperatures up to 500 degrees F. Torlon polymers are characterized by outstanding modulus, impact strength, shear strength, fatigue strength, and creep resistance."

"Five years of dynomometer testing preceded the Polimotor Lola's debut at Watkins Glen in July 1984.... in endurance races lasting up to five hours, the Polimotor engine runs at 8,000 to 9,000 RPM. And the Torlon parts don't melt..This isn't science fiction, laughs the affable Holtzberg."

Terry Lappin, Manager of the Engineering Resins Department at Amoco... adds, "plastic engine parts can stand the stress of racing and before long may appear in passenger cars too. We are capable of producing commercial quantities of Torlon engine parts now. It's up to the car companies."

Fifth page: coupon for copy of Torlon Engineering Polymers Design manual.

Properties of Torlon 7130
"There are several grades of Torlon polymer, each designed to maximize specific properties. Graphite-fiber reinforced Torlon 7130 was used to mold parts for the Plastic Engine. Properties of Torlon 7130 are shown below."


This was 15 years ago! I'm going to do some checking to find out current development in this area.


... and from my follow-up post...

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
from Automotive Industries historical review 1975-1985:

PLASTIC ENGINE

Our December 1980 cover lines said it all: "What...A Plastic Engine?" Matty Holtzberg, founder of Polimotor Research Inc., showed us his 168 lb, 2.3 L ohc motor, which he based on Ford's production 2.3 L 4-cylinder.

The engine used graphite-reinforced composites. Ceramic coatings covered the pistons and intake valves, and the only non-composite pieces were the cylinder liners, crankshaft, camshaft, valve springs, exhaust valve and combustion chamber. Though the engine worked, at $28,000/example it was much too expensive.

Holtzberg moved to a dohc design with the block, head, oil pan, cam cover, oil and water pumps, and intake manifolds made from a phenolic resin-based moldable composite. This 2.3 L design weighed 175 lb, made 178 hp, and needed 50% less machining than a steel design. Holtzberg's engine never reached production, though a 320 hp version had minor racing success.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I stand corrected... apparently the head (except for the combustion chamber surface) was also made from the phenolic resin composite."

"Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better." - Hunter S. Thompson

Post #8 Thu, Aug 23, 8:58 PM
exer51
... - 13217

Quote from Pyro Maniac
Problem: the pistons/cylinders/heads would expand and the block would not. Maybe one day, when we have that sweet ass sweet nanotechnology I hear about that promises so much, and they create a composite that could expand and stay rigid. At that same day we could have floating magnetic bearings using some ubersweet superconducting nanoshit, and super sticky tires that literally grab the road and hold on for dear #$%#ing life, and regenerate too... Sorry, just dreaming with my keyboard. I'll have to hide the chubby before someone notices.
This post is awesome. Too bad we'll be driving some BS electric car before any of that is possible
1972 Series I Jaguar XJ6 W/ Chevy 350. Yea that's right, it's cooler than your Neon

Post #9 Thu, Aug 23, 8:59 PM
exer51
... - 13217

I want a plastic engine. It sounds like teh badassness.
1972 Series I Jaguar XJ6 W/ Chevy 350. Yea that's right, it's cooler than your Neon

Post #10 Thu, Aug 23, 10:22 PM
Pyro Maniac
Supercar Messi - 8256

Quote from exer51
This post is awesome. Too bad we'll be driving some BS electric car before any of that is possible
Do you really think that any true car enthusiasts would desire to listen to a weak little whine as they accelerate? Or listen to fake-ass sounds from speakers? I sure as hell hope not. I would like to think theres going to be internal combustion engines 50 years down the road, they're just going to super freakin badass (probably just as expensive to own too, because of liberal pussies and their hippy ass laws).
Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Post #11 Fri, Aug 24, 4:37 PM
exer51
... - 13217

Quote from Pyro Maniac
Do you really think that any true car enthusiasts would desire to listen to a weak little whine as they accelerate? Or listen to fake-ass sounds from speakers? I sure as hell hope not. I would like to think theres going to be internal combustion engines 50 years down the road, they're just going to super freakin badass (probably just as expensive to own too, because of liberal pussies and their hippy ass laws).
I'm pretty sure many performance vehicles will end up being electric. I know it's blasphemy to say so, but I could deal with an electric motor. Their insta torque turns me on. In many ways they have the potential to be "better" than ICE engines... They just won't be as cool is all.

I'm sure some people will still make ICE engines in the future, it'll probably just be niche market stuff. Kinda like how people still build flathead V8 hot rods and shit.

1972 Series I Jaguar XJ6 W/ Chevy 350. Yea that's right, it's cooler than your Neon

Post #12 Sat, Aug 25, 3:47 AM
Veyronman
Hours wasted - 100149

Quote from Pyro Maniac
Do you really think that any true car enthusiasts would desire to listen to a weak little whine as they accelerate? Or listen to fake-ass sounds from speakers? I sure as hell hope not. I would like to think theres going to be internal combustion engines 50 years down the road, they're just going to super freakin badass (probably just as expensive to own too, because of liberal pussies and their hippy ass laws).
YEEEHAWWWW!!! USA! #1 USA! #1!!!!!
fat chicks have very warm and wet vaginas, from my experience

what's kraftwerk? A firm specialized with something related to protection of animals or training dogs?

Post #13 Sat, Aug 25, 6:35 AM
VeNoM
Supercar Messi - 9519

ICE engines is redundant exer51.
"Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better." - Hunter S. Thompson

Post #14 Sat, Aug 25, 8:58 AM
SaabJohan
Supercar Messiah - 2150

Quote from VICIOUS
The article was from National Geographic December 1989, it was about advanced materials.
They also talked about a ceramic engine being developed by Isuzu.

The highpoints of the ceramic engine were that it could take more heat and not reject it like a tradional metal engine.

The article also projected that cars with ceramic gas turbines would be on the road by 2000 or something.

However, I couldn't find a copy of the article to get names or anything about the polymer engine. I remember the picture of the dude carrying it though, it was super light.
That was the eighties. Then they figured out that there was no easy way around the brittleness issues ceramics cause.

To make a complete engine out of plastics is today also less interresting, but it have become common to make for example air intakes and similar parts of plastics (usually a glass fibre filled nylon). Honeywell (Garrett) even use high temperature polymers in the ball bearing turbos (ball retainers).

A more likely solution in the near future would be use of metal matrix composites. For example Toyota has alrealy had titanium matrix composite valves in serial production (they can save about 5% fuel).

Post #15 Mon, Aug 27, 4:13 AM
VICIOUS
673 Karma - 69091

Quote from SaabJohan
That was the eighties. Then they figured out that there was no easy way around the brittleness issues ceramics cause.

To make a complete engine out of plastics is today also less interresting, but it have become common to make for example air intakes and similar parts of plastics (usually a glass fibre filled nylon). Honeywell (Garrett) even use high temperature polymers in the ball bearing turbos (ball retainers).

A more likely solution in the near future would be use of metal matrix composites. For example Toyota has alrealy had titanium matrix composite valves in serial production (they can save about 5% fuel).
Yep, exactly. I just wanted to be able to post the article.
The fact that they had predicted the ceramic engine technology to bear fruit by 2000 shows me that it was bunk.

They still make ceramic ball bearings though. At least I saw them in catalogues last year, I believe?

You open the closet door. Digging through the BF:BC2 posters and PS3 game cases, something in the back catches your eye. You pull it out, and it is a carbon steel sword with a nylon grip. It looks brand new.

It has an inscription along the blade. L-O-N-G-N-E-C-K-E-R

Post #16 Mon, Aug 27, 4:41 AM
EliseS2
Supercar Messiah - 15202

Quote from VICIOUS
Yep, exactly. I just wanted to be able to post the article.
The fact that they had predicted the ceramic engine technology to bear fruit by 2000 shows me that it was bunk.

They still make ceramic ball bearings though. At least I saw them in catalogues last year, I believe?
Yea, they make ceramic ball bearings and they are pretty awesome. They can run much hotter than traditional metal bearings.
I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.

Post #17 Mon, Aug 27, 2:16 PM
Pyro Maniac
Supercar Messi - 8256

I read about a ceramic piston and sleeve for nitro r/c cars a while back. It seemed too good to be true (no break-in time and the ability to run as lean as possible without blowing up), I just wish I could find it again now that I could afford it.
Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Post #18 Mon, Aug 27, 7:21 PM
Max Payne
Supercar Messiah - 7737

Quote from SaabJohan
That was the eighties. Then they figured out that there was no easy way around the brittleness issues ceramics cause.

To make a complete engine out of plastics is today also less interresting, but it have become common to make for example air intakes and similar parts of plastics (usually a glass fibre filled nylon). Honeywell (Garrett) even use high temperature polymers in the ball bearing turbos (ball retainers).

A more likely solution in the near future would be use of metal matrix composites. For example Toyota has alrealy had titanium matrix composite valves in serial production (they can save about 5% fuel).
Just to clarify on what you said about brittleness of ceramics: Ceramics are available that have good fracture toughness AND amazing hardness, wear, and corrosion properties. I know that tons of ceramic parts are used in fuel controls and pumps and hydraulic systems on aircraft. The problem is of course these materials are hard to make which makes them expensive.

Again, not disagreeing but just to clarify what you meant by "no EASY way" around brittleness.

Post #19 Mon, Aug 27, 8:03 PM
Fluchtwagen
blithe - 24991

Quote from SaabJohan
That was the eighties. Then they figured out that there was no easy way around the brittleness issues ceramics cause.

To make a complete engine out of plastics is today also less interresting, but it have become common to make for example air intakes and similar parts of plastics (usually a glass fibre filled nylon). Honeywell (Garrett) even use high temperature polymers in the ball bearing turbos (ball retainers).

A more likely solution in the near future would be use of metal matrix composites. For example Toyota has alrealy had titanium matrix composite valves in serial production (they can save about 5% fuel).
you are such a no-nonsense engineer. Thinking so conservatively will get you nowhere fast.
UIUC CS

Post #20 Tue, Aug 28, 4:08 AM
VICIOUS
673 Karma - 69091

Quote from Fluchtwagen
you are such a no-nonsense engineer. Thinking so conservatively will get you nowhere fast.
Well.. they poured money into ceramics in the '80s and got nowhere.
Ceramics are generally brittle and very unpredictable in failure. That's just how it is.

You open the closet door. Digging through the BF:BC2 posters and PS3 game cases, something in the back catches your eye. You pull it out, and it is a carbon steel sword with a nylon grip. It looks brand new.

It has an inscription along the blade. L-O-N-G-N-E-C-K-E-R

Post #21 Tue, Aug 28, 6:37 AM
Monkey
Supercar Messiah - 4963

Quote from Fluchtwagen
you are such a no-nonsense engineer. Thinking so conservatively will get you nowhere fast.
The problem is that engineers generally have to be conservative to avoid getting sued.
Isaiah 26:4 :: Ephesians 2:8-10 :: Hebrews 3:12-14 :: "when the rich wage war it's the poor who die"

Post #22 Tue, Aug 28, 8:13 AM
disord3r
Supercar Messiah - 27255

http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/20/indias-tata-motors-developing-uber-cheap-plastic-automobile/

Sounds like they were made for each other!

I was fighting the mold in the bowl with my pee when a thought popped into my brain

Post #23 Tue, Aug 28, 9:22 AM
Max Payne
Supercar Messiah - 7737

Quote from SaabJohan
That was the eighties. Then they figured out that there was no easy way around the brittleness issues ceramics cause.

To make a complete engine out of plastics is today also less interresting, but it have become common to make for example air intakes and similar parts of plastics (usually a glass fibre filled nylon). Honeywell (Garrett) even use high temperature polymers in the ball bearing turbos (ball retainers).

A more likely solution in the near future would be use of metal matrix composites. For example Toyota has alrealy had titanium matrix composite valves in serial production (they can save about 5% fuel).
Ah yes, something I didn't mention, in addition I also know honeywell used some MMCs in some recent aerospace application... I can't remember if it was wheel&brake or fuel controls, but there were serious toughness problems and it was abandoned for the time being.
Post #24 Wed, Aug 29, 2:03 PM
SaabJohan
Supercar Messiah - 2150

Quote from Max Payne
Just to clarify on what you said about brittleness of ceramics: Ceramics are available that have good fracture toughness AND amazing hardness, wear, and corrosion properties. I know that tons of ceramic parts are used in fuel controls and pumps and hydraulic systems on aircraft. The problem is of course these materials are hard to make which makes them expensive.

Again, not disagreeing but just to clarify what you meant by "no EASY way" around brittleness.
All industrial ceramics are very brittle, and there are really no way around that part. But that does not mean that ceramics can't be used in certain applications.

Ceramic parts always break before their tensile strength is reached (ceramics have really high tensile strengths, as the tensile strength in theory is related to the modulus of elasticity), this is due to fast fractures. Fast fractures occur in brittle materials due to material defects. So when you make a ceramic part, you need to have as few defects as possible as these defects will eventually cause the part to break. In general, a small part will have less defects than a large part. This means that ceramics are mostly used for very small components or as coatings since we can make these parts with very few defects. As the size of the part increase we get into trouble.

Ceramic parts are mostly made from a powder, using a slurry, sintering or similar. When heated this powder form a single piece ceramic part. This is really a simple and cheap method which is also used for metals (extensivly used in the automotive industry today). The cost of the ceramic power depends on what ceramic we talk about. What makes the ceramics so expesive to make is essentially the high quality control needed, since they must contain as few defects as possible.

With ceramics there is also no way to determine how long a ceramic part will last as we do with metals (fatigue). You can only analyse the likelyhood of failure but in the end some ceramic parts can break the same day they are made while others may survive in servce for decades, there is really no way to tell.

Post #25 Wed, Aug 29, 2:27 PM
SaabJohan
Supercar Messiah - 2150

Quote from Max Payne
Ah yes, something I didn't mention, in addition I also know honeywell used some MMCs in some recent aerospace application... I can't remember if it was wheel&brake or fuel controls, but there were serious toughness problems and it was abandoned for the time being.
MMC's have been used in aerospace applications for quite some time now. When using MMC's one can take advantage of the properties of the ceramic, while combining those properties with the toughness of metals. Still, these parts tend to be more brittle that ordinary metals.

Saab (the aerospace company, not the car maker) also got a subsidiary that make MMC part like connecting rods for use in high performance vehicles. Most larger piston manufacturers can also offer pistons in MMC material, these are used in for example F1. 3M have for some time offered push rods of MMC, although some (like Paul Jette of Del West) have expressed doubts about the usefulness of composites in the valvetrain.

For airplanes, landing gears is one applicaion of metal matrix omposites, for example F16 has a landing gear made of titanium matrix composite.

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