Minn Kota Parts
Minn Kota PartsENGINEERING Plastic materials AND BOATenginesalready go together like water and ducks. Withtheir corrosion resistance and ever-improving structural capabilities, plastic materials took the spotof metal in components both inside and outside the powerplant compartment. Just consider thenewest minn kota from Mercury Maritime for a lesson in every that plastics is capable of doing. Thecompany's 225 to 275 horsepower, six-cylinder Verado motors, the initial supercharged four-strokemodels with their class, take advantage of polymers for his or her air-intake manifolds, cam covers,engine control unit housings, resonators, plenums which help reduce powerplant noises during idle,and a lot with their fuel modules.Three is Better than OneMaritime powerplant covers long ago went into plastics, mostly single-piece designs made out of sheet shaping compound (SMC) or thermoformed sheet. Verado's new motor enclosure, by contrast,consists of three injection-molded plastic cowls. The topmost cowl stands out due to its sheer size.Made from a 33-percent glass-filled nylon 66, this part measures 33.5 X 22.9 X 16.4 inches andweighs 11.3 lbs. Mercury plastic materials engineer Mitesh Sheth calls it the "largest injection-molded cosmetic nylon part on the planet," a claim that DuPont Engineering Polymers, theinformation supplier, confirms. A structural rear cowl made out of exactly the same nylon matestogether with the top cowl along a diagonal split line and attaches for an aluminum structuralmember that joins the engine on the boat. A reduced front cowl molded from two components of glass- and mineral-filled DuPont Minlon nylon completes the top motor housing. A couple of other molded plastic parts go into the cowl assembly. A PC/PBT air dam cap, whichchannels air in to the motor, attaches to the peak cowl. And the rear cowl features a separatelymolded nylon 66 structural rib that Mercury attaches by using a urethane adhesive. Finally, the Verado sports a reduced cowl to cover the drive shaft housing. Though it's mostly conventional inthe model, Mercury engineers decided to mold this lower cowl away from a DuPont Sorlyn ionomer,a form of thermoplastic noted for its ability to support high-gloss, molded-in color.The complete assembly might appear a lttle bit complex at first glance. In fact, marine engine topcowlings have up to now had simple, single-piece shapes. John Zebley, Mercury's director of design,goes thus far regarding describe these earlier models as "inverted trash cans having a seal." Yetusing injection molded splitting and plastic materials the cowl into pieces worked to Mercury'sadvantage in a number of ways.Reducing cost is a big one. Sheth explains how the nylon components can reach a category A finishwith less paint in comparison to the SMC parts. "They also have fewer defects, like orange peel,which increases our yields," he said. As well as the lower cowls, with their molded-in color, don'tneed any paint by any means. Sheth estimates that these particular paint line savings bring about aroughly 46-percent reduction in piece-part costs in comparison to SMC.Weight-loss is another advantage. Tom Walczak, cowling project engineer, reports that traditionalSMC cowling represents around 20 percent of your entire motor weight. At 35 lbs, Verado's cowlingweighs 30 percent lower than SMC. And this savings makes a major difference within an industrythat equates performance with power density.