This Monday, chemicals group Solvay revealed it is working on a pilot project to build a car engine made entirely of plastic which would weigh up to 40% less than a standard engine. “We at Solvay are very proud to be leading the way in the construction of the Polimotor 2, an engine made entirely of high performance plastics and which will be tested out in a car race some time next year”, announced the group in a statement.
The project is a group effort and aims to pave the way for further “technological breakthroughs in the automotive sector.” By replacing anything up to 10 components normally made out of metal (pumps, injection bar, gears, …)with a plastic equivalent, the “Polimotor 2” should weigh about 41 kg, that is, 40% less than a standard motor weighs these days (63 to 67 kg), said the Belgian group. The engine is the heaviest part of a car.
Significantly reducing the engine weight would enable fuel savings and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2016, the four-cylinder Polimotor 2 with its double overhead camshaft will be fitted in a Norma M-20 which will compete in the Connecticut “Lime Rock Park” race (eastern US), revealed Solvay.