A New Materials Breakthrough In Automotive Part & Design Manufacturing Brings Promise For Future Mobility Applications.
A public/private partnership between Ford and the University of Toronto (UT) has led to the development of a carbon fiber composite (CFC) engine timing cover – a breakthrough advancement in powertrain design and manufacturing technology that addresses a myriad of needs in the dawning age of new mobility.
Cooperatively designed, engineered and executed by a team of Ford/UT engineers and scientists, the CFC timing cover – a “Y”-shaped piece designed and applied to the front portion of Ford’s latest-generation 5.0L Coyote engine – is a design and manufacturing technology that:
- Showcases the potential to reduce vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. As the world seeks to reduce CO2 emissions to meet environmental targets, there is a greater demand than ever for lightweight manufacturing, resulting in a growing need for materials such as CFC across vehicle applications, including chassis applications, exterior panels, and now engine applications.
- Improves functionalities of powerplant structural component designs (be it for ICE, BEV, Hybrid, Fuel Cell, etc.) that bring lighter weight, enhanced durability, flexibility in design, and greater recyclability. For example: the CFC timing cover developed for the 5.0L Coyote engine brings enhanced structural integrity, reduced resonance, and 100-percent Lifecyle recyclability when compared to traditional cast aluminum applications.
- Delivers enhanced performance. Not only does the CFC timing cover bring a new material to under hood applications, but it is seven (7) pounds lighter than the cast aluminum stock engine timing cover it is designed to replace – a reduction critical in on-track applications where decreased mass delivers a performance advantage.
- Delivers shared learnings, best practices, design flexibility and strategic light-weighting strategies for a variety of under hood and carriage applications to the rapidly expanding BEV and Fuel Cell sectors of the new mobility era.
The CFC engine timing cover was conceived, developed and executed at Ford’s Powertrain Engineering Research and Development Center (PERDC) in Windsor, Ontario – a facility dedicated to advancing powertrain technologies, alternative fuels and lightweighting development. It is the product of a collaborative five-year effort led by Dr. Jimi Tjong of the PERDC and Prof. Mohini Sain, director of Biomaterials Processing of UT’s Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE), and Ron Ewert and David Born of Ford Performance Parts (FPP) engineering.
“Not only has the cross-functional efforts on this project brought this product to the marketplace, but it has created an ever-strengthening relationship between industry, academia and public endeavors for future projects like these,” said David Born - Ford Performance Engine & Performance supervisor.
“Our collaborative team’s engineers and scientists have extensive knowledge and experience in polymer science and synthesis, fiber and composite production, fiber and composite mechanical testing, and fiber recycling from advanced composites.
“Together, we have the combined expertise and are making strides towards developing a more sustainable approach to the production of powertrain-related composite materials.”
Introduced at the 2021 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show by Ford Performance Parts, the CFC engine timing cover was selected as one of ten (10) recipients of the SEMA Global Media Award from a field of more than 3000 new products.
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