EVANSVILLE, IND. - Nylon is becoming one of the hottest materials in automotive engines. With smaller engines being used in new cars, automakers have been seeking new ways to deaden or eliminate noise while reducing weight. Nylon fits design and performance requirements.
While nylon engine manifolds are proven performers in Europe and are being designated for production more and more in North America, Fred Boss, product manager for wear- and friction-resistant compounds for DSM Engineering Plastics of Evansville, said one of the brighter new applications is for valve lifter guides.
Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn, Mich., has designated nylon for valve lifter guides for its 3.8 liter, V-6 engine that went into production for the 1996 model year, and is considering nylon valve lifter guides for three engines under development, according to Boss in a recent interview at his office.
Separately, Chrysler Corp. is considering nylon valve lifter guides for two engine programs under development, he said.
Boss claims nylon provides a quiet, light replacement for steel in the application, while offering greater wear resistance, and resistance to the high heat and harsh environment within an engine. Nylon valve lifter guides also offer a sound-deadening advantage that steel valve lifter guides do not have, he added.