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Plastic Engines Now On The Market
"They'll outlast metal engines," says the developer of a new Pinto-sized 4-cyl. engine that's 80% plastic.
Matty Holtzberg, president of Polymotor Research Ltd., Fairlawn, N.J., says plastic makes for better engines in part because it results in lighter moving parts, less corrosion and lower operating temperatures.
"We're using very sophisticated fiber-reinforced plastic material, the same material that is used on the doors of the space shuttle. It doesn't rust, has less corrosion, and it's much lighter than metal," Holtzberg told FARM SHOW.
The company's first engine is a 4-cyl., 100 hp. model that weighs just 170 lbs., compared with a weight of 350 lbs. for a comparable size all-metal engine. The engines are available but sell in the $3,000 to $4,000 range, and are used primarily for research purposes. However, the Ford Motor Company has expressed an interest in the engine. Holtzberg says it can be used anywhere a conventional engine would be used.
The engine block, cylinder head, valves, rocker arms, piston lifters, and many more of the parts on the engine are plastic. The crankshaft and single overhead cam are metal and it has conventional metal bearings and aluminum cylinder liners. All surfaces exposed to fuel combustion are metal or metal covered.
"A big benefit of using plastic is that many of the parts which would ordinarily have to he cast can be machined out of plastic, which is much cheaper. It's also easier to handle, which will help cut production costs tremendously," says Holtzberg.
The company says that lightened weight is the biggest advantage of the plastic engine design. Besides the fact that the moving parts are lighter and therefore wear less, Holtzberg says that every 100 lb. reduction of overall weight increases gas mileage by one mile per gal. He says plastic engines are also extremely quiet.
The company currently has both a conventional 4-cyl. engine and a heavy-duty racing model. They are working on a diesel prototype with 75 hp. that weighs one-third that of a cast engine.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Polymotor Research Ltd., 17-50 River Road, Fairlawn, N.J. 07410 (ph 201 796-0767).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #1