Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Alloy Could Improve Gas Mileage, Lower Emissions

Date:
August 1, 2002
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
A new high-strength aluminum-silicon alloy developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., promises to lower engine emissions and could improve gas mileage in cars, boats and recreational vehicles. The new alloy, co-invented by Jonathan Lee, a NASA structural materials engineer, was originally developed for the automotive industry.

A new high-strength aluminum-silicon alloy developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., promises to lower engine emissions and could improve gas mileage in cars, boats and recreational vehicles. The new alloy, co-invented by Jonathan Lee, a NASA structural materials engineer, was originally developed for the automotive industry.

Related Articles


Although most Americans associate NASA with space flight, one of the space agency's missions is to share its cutting-edge technologies with U.S. industry. "Partnerships with U.S industries are the main way NASA transfers these technologies to the public," explains Vernotto McMillan, deputy manager of Marshall's Technology Transfer Department.

Lee and co-inventor PoShou Chen, a scientist with Morgan Research Corp., began work on the new alloy seven years ago when a major automobile manufacturer approached NASA about developing a strong and low-cost aluminum alloy for use in a piston redesign that would lower engine emissions.

Lee and Chen came up with MSFC-398, a wear-resistant alloy that exhibits dramatic strength at temperatures as high as 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, when tested at 600 degrees Fahrenheit, it is three to four times stronger than conventional cast aluminum alloys. The new metal also can be produced at a projected cost of less than $1 per pound.

NASA High-Strength Alloy can be poured as a molten metal into conventional steel molds or die-casting molds to create specially shaped parts -- a cost-saving advantage over machining of parts.

"The new alloy is ideal for high-temperature cast components used in engines such as pistons, connecting rods, actuators, brake calipers and rotors," said Lee. This makes NASA High- Strength Alloy a good choice for high-temperature applications in the automotive, aerospace, marine and recreational vehicle industries.

"Increasingly stringent exhaust-emission regulations for internal combustion engines have forced piston designers into a redesign to lower emissions," said Lee. "The current modification is to reduce the piston's crevice volume -- the air gap between the piston wall and the cylinder bore -- by moving the top piston ring closer to the top of the piston crown."

Such a modification promises to be a key to reaching the goal of making today's high-performance gasoline and diesel engines meet tougher exhaust standards.

To accomplish this, engine makers needed a strong, low-cost alloy that would allow them to make the piston-crown depth thinner -- yet still curb piston failure caused by high work and heat loads.

"NASA High-Strength Alloy offers greater wear resistance and surface hardness which enables manufacturers to use less material, thus reducing the part's weight and cost and improving gas mileage, engine performance and engine durability," said Lee.

Two U.S. patents have been awarded with other domestic patents pending. An international patent is pending for the technology as well, said Sammy Nabors, the commercialization lead in the Marshall Technology Transfer Department. Through NASA's Technology Transfer program, non-exclusive licenses to develop new products from the improved alloy have been awarded to Advanced Materials Technology Inc., Manitowoc, Wis.; Swan Metal Composites Inc., Woodinville, Wash.; and Eck Industries, Manitowoc, Wis.

NASA is continuing to seek U.S. industries as partners to further transfer this technology to the public and private sector.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "New Alloy Could Improve Gas Mileage, Lower Emissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020801081009.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. (2002, August 1). New Alloy Could Improve Gas Mileage, Lower Emissions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020801081009.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "New Alloy Could Improve Gas Mileage, Lower Emissions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020801081009.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins