Ford’s Composite Cylinder Strategy

By on February 2, 2018 in IN THE NEWS, MATERIAL MATTERS

According to patent applications from the Ford Motor Company, the company is looking to replace metal with composite materials in the manufacture of cylinder heads. Ford has already patented a new hybrid composite cylinder head made up primarily of a polymer composite, rather than iron or aluminum, as reported in recent industry reviews. A fiber-reinforced composite would surround an internal cast-iron skeleton. Industry experts believe this could be an important development because previous patents for lighter-weight cylinder heads relied on a less-flexible ceramic composite, which could not be formed around a metal inner structure, among other flaws. Ford’s composite formula, by contrast, includes resin, silicone and other polymers. Since the part would weigh less, slightly improved fuel economy is predicted, along with reduced production costs for the components themselves.