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Engine Assembly

Engine Assembly

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Published by vinu198500

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Published by: vinu198500 on Mar 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Technical 2August 2000
Cylinder Block / Lost Foam Casting Process
The all-aluminum cylinder block construction features a deep skirt design and is lighter thanconventional cast iron truck engines. The premium A356 aluminum primary material is used witha T6 heat treatment to provide the strength requirements of a truck engine. This material is verysimilar to the aluminum used in wheels. The engine block and cylinder head are cast usingGeneral Motors’lost foam process. It offers a number of environmental benefits when comparedto conventional casting.GM pioneered lost foam cylinder block casting in 1982,and has continuously refined the process.The process begins with a styrofoam assembly that replicates the part being cast. Loose sand ispoured around the assembly and shaken into its voids. Molten aluminum is then poured througha foam sprue into the sand where the hot metal melts the foam,displaces it and cools in the shapeof the part.Unlike conventional casting,the lost foam process allows passages and other features to be castdirectly into the part. Oil galleries,ventilation and oil drain back passages (which keep oil awayfrom the crank) are cast into the block. Coolant passages,which would otherwise require drillingor external plumbing (with a potential for leaks) are also cast into the block. This results in lessmachining and fewer opportunities for error.
Technical 3August 2000
Another benefit of the lost foam process is that it allows narrow water jacket passages,which keepcoolant velocities high. In addition,the lost foam process allows for a coolant jacket design thatsweeps coolant in and out of the siamese region. The detailed design of the coolant jacket wasoptimized extensively using computational fluid dynamics. The result is a low volume coolant jacket that warms up quickly,yet provides cooling for 90 percent of the stroke,with even heattransfer.This engine features pressed in cast iron liners. The installation process includes chilling the linerprior to placement and sophisticated precision force monitoring to insure proper installation.The press-fit,ground outside diameter of the liner against the precision bored aluminum cylinderprovides optimal heat transfer. After installation,the iron liner is bored to a mass saving 1.5 mmwall thickness.The sand used in conventional casting,typically seen heaped in large mounds outside of foundries,requires a binder and must be disposed of in landfills. The sand used in lost foamcasting requires no binder and can be used again. Landfill waste is minimized. There is asubstantial reduction in raw material disposed of and used.
Crank Bearing Structural Ladder
A bearing beam or “ladder”connects the seven main powder-metal bearing caps,stiffening theengine block’s structure. The deep skirt cylinder block design contributes to the increase instructural stiffness,which reduces overall engine vibration and noise. The beam offers manyadvantages of a separate cast lower crankcase with less manufacturing complexity and lesspotential for oil leaks.
Technical 4August 2000

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