On Display at “Technology Days”
The Nanoslide cylinder bore coating process and the MC20 horizontal machining module received a lot of attention at Heller Machine Tools' "Technology Days" open house event.
Approximately 700 people visited Heller Machine Tool’s “Technology Days” open house event September 26 and 27 to peruse the builder’s latest equipment as well as offerings from 25 suppliers of tooling, metrology systems and other complementary equipment. Although a broad range of offerings were on display, the company highlighted two developments in particular: its new cylinder bore coating technology and a series of horizontal machining centers capable of both heavy and high speed cutting.
Nanoslide – Lighter engine block materials make for lighter cars and better fuel efficiency, but according to Heller, the most commonly used lightweight materials typically require cylinder liners to impart the necessary surface hardness, roughness and texture. The company says it now offers a cost-effective alternative: Nanoslide, a twin-wire arc spraying process based on research from Mercedes Benz and developed for full production by Heller, Daimler AG and other partners.
The process involves melting iron/carbon wires and using nitrogen gas to spray the material onto the interior surfaces of engine cylinders. Spray particle velocity ranges from 60 to 80 m/s, and spray particle temperatures range to 2000° C. Compared to traditional liners, the process reduces engine weight; reduces friction between the liner, piston and ring; and improves engine displacement and torque, the company says.
Nanoslide is also said to provide advantages over other thermal spray processes. Specifically, the company cites its high material deposit, use of wires rather than powder as feedstock material (wires are said to be easier to handle), use of fewer components, ability to coat without process control, and ability to coat without the need for extra cooling. However, the company emphasizes that parameters such as current, voltage, wire feed, and process gas flow must all be optimized.