The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced that it will renew a multiyear research award under the Advanced Technology Program to a joint venture by Extrude Hone Corp. (Irwin, Pa.), Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Mich.) and General Motors Corp. (Pontiac, Mich.) to develop a finishing technique in which an abrasive liquid fine tunes the hollow flow passages and combustion cavities in automotive engines for higher efficiency engines that consume less fuel while emitting less pollutants.
The NIST award renewal is for $1,482,099. The four-year project, begun in 1995, is projected to receive a total of approximately $3,909,000 in ATP funding, matched by approximately $4,024,000 in industry funding. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb.) and the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.) are also partners in the project.
Advanced Technology Program awards are designed to help industry pursue risky, challenging technologies that have the potential for a big pay-off for the nation's economy. ATP projects focus on enabling technologies that will create opportunities for new, world-class products, services and industrial processes, benefiting not just the ATP participants but other companies and industries--and ultimately consumers and taxpayers. The ATP's cost-shared funding enables industry to pursue promising technologies that otherwise would be ignored or developed too slowly to compete in rapidly changing world markets.
Detailed information on this project, Flow-Control Machining, is provided below.
In internal combustion engines, air is ingested and compressed into cavities where it mixes with fuel to establish more or less ideal conditions for combustion. The hollow passages that control the volume of air ingested as well as the combustion chamber cavities that determine the level of compression of that air at the point of ignition have a lot to do with performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions of automotive engines. Because the geometries of these cavities and passages are too complex to be machined at acceptable costs, they typically are cast, usually in aluminum. The resulting cavities and passages vary in shape and position, and their surfaces are rough and irregular, which is to say less than ideal. Extrude Hone Corporation, Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI), and General Motors Corporation (Pontiac, MI) jointly propose to develop a non-traditional finishing technique in which an abrasive fluid is passed through the cavity to fine tune the shapes and surfaces of engine cavities and passages. This capability will lead to high precision, conveniently adjustable flow capacities and combustion chamber volumes. In turn, these abilities ought to yield higher performance, more fuel efficient and cleaner burning engines that can be built at lower cost and in smaller production volumes than is currently possible. The central challenge of the project is to develop a thorough understanding of the relationship between the machining process and the performance of the resulting engine passage or cavity. From this will come process and performance models that will guide the machining process as it occurs. Besides engine applications, the technology would be applicable for the manufacture of hydraulic pumps and valves, medication delivery systems, aircraft turbine engines, and even rocket engine fuel orifices.
Extrude Hone Corporation
Technologies: Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Technology
Project length: 4 years
ATP funds: $3,909 K
Cost-shared funds (est.): $4,024 K
Total project funds (est.): $7,933 K
Contact: Lawrence J. Rhoades, (412) 863-5970, larryr [at] extrudehone.com (larryr[at]extrudehone[dot]com)