Having received the initial simulation data from FEV, Datwyler ran its own simulation and made some recommendations with regards to the geometry of the component to improve the sealing itself. Many factors had to be considered carefully, including the fact that plastic components create a higher chance of vibration as they cannot be secured as tightly as a metal-on-metal design. As a result, the sealing had to also be able to absorb any potential vibrations, preventing excess noise and durability issues. Following this, Datwyler drew on its material expertise to ensure the compound selected was optimized in terms of temperature and fluid resistance – which were high as a result of the position of the part on the engine prototype itself.
The project is now entering the final prototype stage, which will see up to five engines completed in their entirety to showcase the achievements of the project. Although the internal combustion engine has continuously developed further, this shows that there is still potential for improvement and to make the ICE competitive against other forms of propulsion. The ICE’s lighter weight as a result of the use of composite components will have a direct impact on fuel consumption and thermal efficiency, while the optimization of the structure and the ability to decouple parts such as the thermoset cover ensure NVH-related issues are minimized.