Solvay polymers chosen for plastic racing engine

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Solvay , a leading supplier of high-performance polymers, has been detailing its involvement with the Polimotor 2 automotive engine project.

The project is led by renowned engineer Matti Holzberg and aims to get a next-generation plastic engine involved in automotive racing in 2016.

Solvay says that its KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is the latest of its products to be selected for use in the engine, this time to fabricate an oil scavenger line in the engine’s dry sump modular oil pump system.

Other parts using Solvay materials include a water pump, oil pump components, water inlet/outlet, throttle body, fuel rail and other high-performance components.

The Polimotor 2 project aims to develop an all-plastic, four-cylinder, double-overhead cam engine that weighs between 63-67kg, around 40kg less than the equivalent standard production engine.

Allegheny Performance Plastics, a leading processor of high-performance thermoplastics, machined the 45cm oil scavenger line from a stock shape available from Texas-based Drake Plastics, which was then extruded with Solvay’s KetaSpire KT-820 CF30 PEEK, a 30% carbon fiber-reinforced grade that maintains fatigue resistance at continuous-use temperatures reaching 240°C, comfortably above the peak oil temperatures in Polimotor 2’s dry sump design, which can reach 138°C.

“Polimotor 2’s design for its oil scavenger line required us to machine a much longer than usual thermoplastic part from a stock shape rod,” said Greg Shoup, president of Allegheny Performance Plastics.

“We found that Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK machined very nicely in our CNC machining processes, and the finished part was within print tolerance, which allowed it to fit perfectly on the dry sump.”

February 9, 2016

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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