Complex machined castings specialist Grainger & Worrall has launched a white paper detailing how the need for greater thermal efficiency in internal combustion engines (ICEs) is driving even greater innovation in the field of high-precision engine casting.
Entitled ‘The heat is on’, the white paper, written by Grainger & Worrall’s technical director, Keith Denholm, follows on from the company’s pioneering work with automotive OEMs to design a new generation of engines capable of operating in the 40-50% thermal efficiency range.
Keith Denholm explained: “Enhancements in thermal efficiency – the percentage of heat energy transformed into engine power - have traditionally moved slowly in ICEs. Even as recently as 2013, engines were failing to achieve anything above 30%, the normally aspirated F1 state of efficiency.
“The UK is set to ban all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 so to meet the relentless desire for greater efficiency, Grainger & Worrall’s prototype division has been investigating numerous ways to improve thermal efficiency. This includes exploring new materials, coatings, production processes and additive manufacturing techniques.”
He continued: “One example is in the enhancement of alloys so they continue to perform to the required standards at operating temperatures above 250 °C - the temperature expected of the next generation of smaller engines.
“Meanwhile, we are looking at the wider use of cylinder bore coatings to drive down engine size while reducing friction and optimising temperature control – a technology set to become a reality at our UK facility within the next few years.”
He concluded: “In addition to this, we are further refining our process and control systems as well as making greater use of innovative additive manufacturing methods to drive further enhancements in quality and performance.”