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Old 01-25-2010, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Plastic engines

I searched for it, but I didn't find anything here, and while checking out some of the archives at The Knee Slider, I found an article about plastic engines possibly being a viable alternative for automobile/motorcycle engines of current production types.

Article follows:

Plastic Engines We Have the Technology Is Anyone Interested?


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Old 01-25-2010, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First comment -

From the looks, that block is just that - a block. It would seem that the primary friction/heat parts of the block will not be replaced, and this is discussed in the article.

It seems like, if we can assume anything from that image, the bearing surfaces and piston sleeves will be part of a secondary "bed plate" that is either fastened/adhered to the plastic block "casing" (if you will).

If I might add another point of discussion to this: What about the availability of self-lubricating plastics? Would they be viable for use in low-speed engine applications (Sub-1000 RPM max) where low heat and power generation are required?

What about applications for air-engines? How about plastic parts for the parts of electric motors that aren't required to be metal by design?

What exactly are the possibilities of manufactured plastic components?
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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...I remember reading that article. At the time, I had a '72 Pinto with that Ford-of-Britain (FOB) 1.6L engine...got 36 mpg at typical 55 mph, of course, I'd done a few tweeks like change the stock 3.55:1 axle to 3.18:1; switch from breaker points to fully electronic ignition; and installed a "tri-Y" header from a Cortina.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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a while back I got the notion that molded plastic vane-type stirling engines (with flexible vanes) could be built into the wheels of cars and replaced/recycled after 10,000 miles or whenever their performance begins to suffer.

but then i remembered that i'm not in charge of jack squat and even if i had the cure for cancer written on a napkin i wouldn't have a clue how to start a business making it.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Carbon fibre can be engineered to take the stresses involved and ceramic coatings can deal with the heat and bedplates etc to take the bearings will handle that.

I suggest it is more a case of what will it cost , rather than can it be made to work.

Even those very familiar with the technology (Ferrari for example) have yet to implement it beyond the cosmetic applications.

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Old 01-25-2010, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tough to beat plain ol ancient cast iron for cylinders. Hasn't been done yet that I'm aware of.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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my accord has a pizza box under the hood. with hho.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Tough to beat plain ol ancient cast iron for cylinders. Hasn't been done yet that I'm aware of.
Did you read the second post? They're using the composite for a block casing, then adding in sleeves and a bed pan for the bearings/pistons. The base castings are plastic, but there's still iron in the block. They're claiming a weight savings up to 20-30% over aluminum engines, though. Significant.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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...ie: a "plastic" spider holding "cast iron" sleaves and bearings in their proper locations.
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes I did read it. Just sayin.

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