DETROIT (Jan. 19, 2:15 p.m. ET) — Ford Motor Co. has put a lot of engineering and marketing into its EcoBoost engines, especially when it comes to one created for its F-150 pickup truck. The EcoBoost use turbocharging, lightweight materials and other technology to get better performance out of a smaller engine — a 3.5-liter V-6 for the F-150 — tempting buyers to opt for the EcoBoost for better fuel economy compared to a V-8.
The EcoBoost is also a boon for plastics, with key components like the cam cover, ducts, hoses and engine cover all made from high temperature thermoplastics. Molder Miniature Precision Components Inc. added equipment during the auto industry's slowdown to launch production on several parts on the engine.
Industry executives discuss the EcoBoost in this PN exclusive video.
EcoBoost has been a success story for Ford. The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker hoped to convince 25 percent to 30 percent of buyers to opt for it, paying an extra $1,000 for it. Instead, an average of 41 percent of buyers has been adding it since the engine went on sale in March.
Executives from material supplier DuPont and MPC talk about the engine and plastics' role in it during a visit to Ford's display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Ford is far from the only automaker using plastic to help boost engine performance. Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont is providing its Zytel Plus nylon for three hot and cool-side charge air coolers for turbo systems built by Tata Toyo in India.
Charge air coolers quickly cool hot air generated by the turbocharger before the air is forced through the induction system. Cooler air improves combustion efficiency.
“Turbo systems are one of several technologies the industry is quickly adopting to boost the performance of smaller, more efficient engines,” said Patrick Ferronato, director of automotive, DuPont Performance Polymers in a Jan. 19 press release. “The environment these power-boost technologies create is challenging the capabilities of many existing engineering thermoplastics.”
Tata Toyo, based in Pune, India, selected Zytel Plus for added protection against harsh elements in turbo diesel systems.