A British engine design consultancy has developed a new computer-aided engineering technique that can recreate and even improve the integrity of obsolete engines and components without the need for drawings.
‘There are many historic vehicles that have worn or damaged components where replacement parts are not available,’ says Darren Cairns, a director of Integral Powertrain. ‘Classic race cars are a good example as most were manufactured in tiny numbers. Our technique allows one-off replication at substantially lower cost than could previously be achieved, with the option of cost-effective low volume production runs.’ IP’s technique uses 3D computer models produced from accurate data of the original components. These models can be updated to include design changes or to allow the use of modern materials. The finalised computer models are sent to the foundry as electronic data, where they are used to machine the sand core moulds for manufacture of the final product.
The company’s first project was the remanufacture of a monoblock from a 1950’s Ferrari Monza. Cairns and his team worked from an existing component that had been repaired many times and was now too damaged to use. IP was asked to identify any original detail design weaknesses and to correct them to increase the unit’s reliability.
The new parts are manufactured from an aluminium alloy (LM25), which has much better properties than the original material used in 1950. ‘This means that the strength and reliability of the casting can be improved without modifying the basic design.’ comments Cairns.
The technique can also be used to recreate components that no longer exist. ‘We have been approached by a collector who would like to recreate an entire grand prix engine from a handful of bits and some photographs,’ says Cairns.
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