Lightweight Engine Structures – Mechanical, Acoustic and Production Aspects 2003-01-0406
Significant weight reduction on the powertrain can only be achieved by the combined use of lightweight materials with specific design approaches.
The component with the highest contribution to the engine weight is the crankcase. As the central component with many integrated functions, new crankcase concepts require comprehensive development in view of the mechanical and acoustic behavior. After basic concept development and FE-analysis a test engine was built to evaluate the forward-looking light-weight concepts under realistic conditions. Especially the comparison of modern cylinder running surfaces was a topic of extensive material investigation and engine durability tests. Both Aluminum and Magnesium were investigated as material for the crankcase of the test engine.
Beside the functional aspects the production cost of lightweight concepts is the decisive issue for their implementation in volume production. The lightweight development program was conducted in close cooperation with volume production suppliers.