Corey, N., Madin, M., and Williams, R., "MMLV: Carbon Fiber Composite Engine Parts," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1239, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1239.
While weight reduction in automotive design and manufacturing have been on-going for several years, in the area of powertrain technology lightweighting has been a difficult challenge to overcome due to functional requirements, as well as material and manufacturing constraints.The Multi Material Lightweight Vehicle (MMLV) developed by Magna International and Ford Motor Company is a result of US Department of Energy project DE-EE0005574. The project demonstrates the lightweighting potential of a five passenger sedan, while maintaining vehicle performance and occupant safety. Prototype vehicles were manufactured and limited full vehicle testing was conducted. The Mach-I vehicle design, comprised of commercially available materials and production processes, achieved a 364kg (23.5%) full vehicle mass reduction, enabling the application of a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine resulting in a significant environmental benefit and fuel reduction.Ford Motor Company worked with material supplier, BASF Corporation, plus Montaplast GmbH, Hexion Inc., and WGS Global Services LC to design and develop the carbon fiber composite Front Cover, Oil Pan and Cam Carrier based off the production Ford 1.0L I3 EcoBoost engine. The reduced mass Front Cover and Oil Pan were both structurally strong enough to support the engine mount attachment and to meet all the powertrain bending stress targets present in the production engine. The final parts achieved a significant weight reduction of 24% for the Front Cover and 33% for the Oil Pan.The Cam Carrier uses a carbon fiber composite material with an innovative split cylinder head design that allows the upper cylinder head section referred to as the cam carrier to support the camshafts and valvetrain components independently from the lower section of the cylinder head. The splitting of the cylinder head facilitates the use of two different materials that meet the functional design requirements. The upper section or the cam carrier provides a 15% mass reduction and the lower section of the cylinder head is cast from aluminum material that will support the high peak cylinder pressures that occur in a GTDI engine.