Metal AM Reduces Engine Weight by 25%
Renault Trucks, France, is working on a metal additive manufacturing (AM) process to boost the performance of four-cylinder engines. The project aims to demonstrate the positive impact of metal additive manufacturing on the size and weight of an engine.
The Renault Trucks Lyon Powertrain Engineering department has built a prototype of a four-cylinder engine using metal AM. The rocker arms and camshaft bearing caps were created via metal AM and have been successfully bench tested for 600 hours inside a Euro 6 engine. "
This process has enabled us to reduce the weight of a four-cylinder engine by 120 kg [nearly 265 lbs] or 25%," explains Damien Lemasson, project manager, Renault Trucks. "The tests we have carried out process the durability of engine components made using 3D printing. It's not just cosmetic."
"Additive manufacturing releases us from constraints and unlocks the creativity of engineers. This procedure is a source of disruptive technology for the engines of tomorrow, which will be lighter and more functional, thereby offering optimal performance," Lemasson adds. Metal AM could reduce engine sizes, giving trucks higher payload capacities and fuel economy.
In the short-term, this manufacturing procedure can be used for specific applications or small runs. Following on from these successful initial tests, engineers at Renault Trucks will be continuing their work on this manufacturing process to further increase the performance and functionality of truck components.
Source: Renault Trucks