3-D printed, reinforced polyetheretherketone was chosen for the fuel intake runner in the Polimotor 2 all-plastic vehicle engine project.
Solvay Specialty Polymers says a special grade of its KetaSpire PEEK with 10 percent carbon fiber loading allows replacement of the original aluminum runner for a 50 percent weight saving. PEEK resists automotive fuels and gives reliable mechanical performance at continuous-use temperatures of up to 464 degrees F.
Arevo Labs of Santa Clara, Calif., 3D prints the runner using its reinforced-filament fusion platform and process control software to optimize mechanical properties of the component.
“With this runner, we see one of the very first carbon fiber-filled PEEK parts to be fabricated with the additive manufacturing process,” says Brian Baleno, global automotive business manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers.
Polimotor 2 is the brainchild of auto innovator Matti Holtzberg, who wants to build an all-plastic, four-cylinder engine that weights between 138 to 148 pounds, about 90 pounds less than a standard production engine. The new engine is destined for competitive racing in 2016. Holzberg also is president of Composite Castings LLC of West Palm Beach, Fla.
Solvay Specialty Polymers' U.S. headquarters is in Alpharetta, Ga., tel 770-772-8760, fax 770-772-8454. Parent company Solvay SA is based in Brussels.