Understand how the polymers engine might blow new winds in the automotive sector

3 de February de 2021 5 minutes Blog Technical Tips All Posts

In the automotive industry, many professionals still “turn up their noses” when it comes to a polymers engine — it wasn’t much different when aluminum engine structures came on the scene. After all, it is quite true that the idea of an engine built with plastic materials might seem quite unusual.

What cannot go unnoticed, however, is that this type of transformation comes in the wake of a much more significant movement, which is the industry’s constant need to produce more efficient cars that consume less and offer more safety and comfort to users.

In this context, high performance polymers already represent an innovation capable of causing significant impacts on these indicators, since these alloys have greater mechanical, thermal and chemical resistance. This means that the addition of these components in engines — the most critical and delicate part of automobiles — is nothing but a natural reflection of the search for performance and sustainability.

Polymers engine: more sustainability and performance

Although it has been present in automobiles for some decades, plastic has always been put on a “safe distance” from the engine. We can’t ignore the fact that issues like lack of resistance to high temperatures and risks of contamination from contact with chemicals such as oils and lubricants have always been major obstacles for the polymers engine.

However, all technological breakthroughs in order to strengthen and ensure greater flexibility in the application of polymer alloys help plastic to overcome this final barrier. Nowadays, it appears applied in aggregate systems, such as intake manifolds and resonator chamber, in fuel galleries and even in the crankcase — components whose resistance requirements for vibrations, impacts, temperatures and chemical interactions are quite intense.

Besides, the increasing application of plastic in engines also meets the constant search for reduction in the total weight of vehicles. After all, as plastic is much lighter, it reduces fuel consumption. In this contact, polymer-based materials are increasingly useful in the automotive industry, as it also offers corrosion immunity, better acoustic insulation and, of course, greater design freedom.

It is already possible to find plastic in the upper part of the composition of cylinder heads, for example, being used including in the manufacture of supports for ignition coils. Taking an inside look at the engine, it is present in several components, of the most varied sizes. Just note that, although they are applied to the intake manifold, the polymers are also present in covers of camshaft’s sensors, coils support and timing belt covers.

More technology at the service of the automotive market

In addition to the weight reduction, it is also worth noting that the polymers engine requires less energy during its manufacturing process, which contributes to the reduction of gas and waste emissions: a huge gain for the aspect of environmental responsibility. Not to mention that these materials are durable and extremely resistant, improving the useful life of equipment, parts and components.

And perhaps one of the most impressive reflexes of this onslaught of plastic alloys in automotive engines is that, as they are lighter, it becomes possible to create more energy efficient vehicles and, therefore, reduce fuel consumption, generating less waste and emissions.

Just to give you a bigger picture, a study carried out by the American Chemistry Council indicates that, with the increasingly use of plastic in the development of engines, a car with a useful life of 150 thousand km (93 thousand miles) might save 750 liters of fuel (200 gallons) for every 100 kg (220 pounds) of plastic parts used in the vehicle.

That’s not to mention the electric vehicles, which have benefited greatly from the breakthroughs of plastic alloy technologies in the automotive industry. With lighter cars equipped with a polymers engine, it is possible to affirm that the barrier of the energy efficiency on these cars will be definitely overcome!

Undoubtedly, we are talking about an innovation full of new developments, that definitely enters the list of technologies to keep an eye on the future of the industry! And, well, if you have any questions or want to share more information with us, leave a comment or talk to our team! Let’s create, together, a future full of motion and increasingly incredible technologies!

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