Wednesday 29 January 2014

Rolls-Royce adopts CGI for engine heads

Further evidence of the growing acceptance of the transition towards compacted graphite iron (CGI) as a material of choice of engine makers can be found in the decision by Rolls-Royce AG subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen to use CGI for the cylinder heads of an upgrade of its class-leading Series 2000 industrial engine.

The CGI cylinder head upgrade, compared to the previous generation head, was specified to enable increased power and to ensure durability in the demanding duty cycles experienced by marine, mining, construction and stationary power generating engines.

Although not an automotive application, the latest signatory highlights the growing importance of CGI as an enabling technology leading to improved engine emissions. It further emphasises the growing acceptance of this material to meet high-duty engine cycles and performance.

Following successful product development and pre-production support, volume production of the Series 2000 CGI cylinder head has begun at the foundry of Tupy SA in Joinville Brazil, using SinterCast process control technology.

"The MTU order represents another important step forward for CGI and for Tupy, and further reinforces the transition toward CGI in state-of-the-art engine applications,” said Luiz Tarquínio, president and chief executive officer of Tupy. “The MTU cylinder head becomes our eighteenth CGI product in series production, and establishes an important reference as Tupy's first industrial power component produced in CGI.”

“As the world's leading supplier of CGI, we have now established high volume series production and secured CGI production commitments across the complete spectrum of passenger vehicle cylinder blocks, commercial vehicle cylinder blocks and heads, and industrial power engine components.  Tupy will continue to build on its CGI expertise and series production leadership to motivate new CGI applications and to lead the ongoing trend toward CGI."

The MTU Series 2000 was introduced in 1996 and is manufactured in V8-, V10-, V12-, V16 and V18-cylinder configurations.

The choice of CGI for an industrial engine comes hard on the heels of the news from the Detroit Auto Show at the beginning of this month (13 January 2014) that Ford has chosen to adopt CGI as the cylinder block material for the new 2.7-litre EcoBoost gasoline engine for the 2015 aluminium-intensive Ford F-series pick-up truck. This is Ford’s first application of CGI in a gasoline engine application and as such is surely a pointer to the future.

"The MTU Series 2000 cylinder head provides yet another example of the contribution provided by CGI in achieving performance, durability, refinement and emissions targets" said Dr. Steve Dawson, president and chief executive officer of SinterCast.  "At present, industrial power components and products other than automotive cylinder blocks and heads comprise approximately 10% of our production volume.  We are confident that the growth opportunities in the industrial power sector can allow us to maintain this balance as the core automotive block and head sector continues to ramp up."  

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