Plastic Engines

I highjaked this title from the SchizoidGibberishWikiAuthor.

I thought that this idea of a plastic car engine was dead long ago, but looks like I was dead wrong:

<quote>What’s that? You’re concerned about durability? Still not convinced that a plastic engine could really work in a production car? Well, then consider this test of strength: “Mr. Holtzberg campaigned a Lola racecar in the International Motor Sports Association’s Camel Lights series. Amoco Chemical provided financial backing to promote its Torlon plastic resin. The only mishap during half-a-dozen 1984 and 1985 races was the failure of a connecting rod, a part purchased from an outside supplier.”</quote>

A Plastic Car Engine — You can’t do that, right?:

[Oh, wow! I was there for that race and probby have some pics of that car in the archives someplace. I never knew it was running a plastic engine!]

Plastic automotive engine:

So, with plastic electronics (computer chips), plastic bodies, and now plastic engines, just think of the fire-ball that will make when you get trapped in a wreck gone up in fire!

Valve covers, radiator, fan, engine covers, various casings, fuel tank and intake manifolds are often plastic. My car has all of these. The plastic used is highly fire retardant -- probably more so than common alternatives such as magnesium. I suspect significant resistance factors to wholesale adoption of plastics for large structural components are industrial inertia (i.e., it's new and requires change and expense to implement) and it's unknown how engine blocks and the like will survive over time. Most significant, however, is the fact that most plastics are petroleum products, and therefore subject to all the pricing and availability fluctuations and uncertainty imposed on all materials based directly on crude oil.
Plastic Engines – We Have the Technology – Is Anyone Interested?:

<quote>Fast forward to 2009 and some companies are showing interest. Although iron engines in those days were heavy to start, plastic engines could even reduce the weight of today's aluminum engines by 30 percent. Technology has definitely advanced in the last 25 years so it seems natural to at least give it a try. Think about that sort of weight reduction on a motorcycle. In a car, the engine is a much smaller part of overall weight, on a motorcycle, it's the single heaviest piece.</quote>
WARNING: Contents May Explode If Stored Near Open Flame! NoAnimalsWereHarmed
See: AdoptingNewInventionAndInnovations, InnovationIsCreativeDestruction


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