Diesel engine maker Cummins, Inc., Columbus, Indiana, USA, is collaborating with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA, to develop a method and material to repair the cylinder heads on heavy-duty engines by Additive Manufacturing.
Cummins diesel engines are used in many heavy-duty truck makes globally. According to the manufacturer, the cylinder heads on these engines typically wear out after a million miles on the road. Ordinarily, these cast iron parts would have to be replaced with new castings; a costly process in terms of time, energy and money.
Using the new method of repair, the research team ‘scoops out’ the worn section and uses a Direct Metal Deposition (DMD®) machine by DM3D Technology, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, to deposit a high-nickel-containing alloy over the damaged area. This material offers a number of properties which help to avoid cracking of the repaired cylinder head and increase its thermal efficiency
The goal of the new repair process is to save energy at the same time as extending the life and increasing the strength of the engine. “We’re decreasing the engine’s thermal conductivity, which holds heat in longer, and turning it into increased efficiency,” explains Nikhil Doiphode, Parts R&D Engineer at Cummins. “While these are not brand-new engines, we’re striving to make them better than new.”