Renault Truck dt15 engine 2
“Additive manufacturing releases us from constraints and unlocks the creativity of engineers.” - Damien Lemasson, Project Manager at Renault Truck
A team made up of Renault Truck engineers and designers is looking to boost engine performances by introducing metal 3D printing to its production processes.
The Renault Trucks Lyon Powertrain Engineering department has focused on using metal additive manufacturing as a future engine manufacturing process. A sample model of a DTI 5 4-cylinder Euro 6 step C engine has already been designed exclusively with 3D printing techniques.
Although the complete engine was already designed virtually, rocker arms and camshaft bearing caps were manufactured by metal 3D printing and successfully bench-tested for 600 hours inside a Euro 6 engine.
“The aim of this project is to demonstrate the positive impact of metal additive manufacturing on the size and weight of an engine,” said Damien Lemasson, Project Manager at Renault Trucks. “This process has enabled us to reduce the weight of a 4-cylinder engine by 120kg, or 25%. The tests we have carried out prove the durability of engine components made using 3D printing. It’s not just cosmetic.”
Renault Truck dti5 engine
The number of components in the DTI 5 engine has been reduced by 25%, meaning a total of 200 fewer parts thanks to 3D printing.
Metal additive manufacturing has opened up new development opportunities for thermal engines, which Renault Trucks is hoping to take advantage of. 3D printing processes can be used to create complex organic forms, as well as optimising the sizing of parts and reducing the number of assembly operations, and therefore the number of components in an engine. The number of components in the DTI 5 engine has been reduced by 25%, meaning a total of 200 fewer parts.
“Additive manufacturing releases us from constraints and unlocks the creativity of engineers,” Lemasson added. “This procedure is a source of disruptive technology for the engines of tomorrow, which will be lighter and more functional, thereby offering optimal performance.”
For haulage companies, of which Renault Trucks serves, metal 3D printing also carries a number of advantages. These companies will be able to optimise the overall operating costs of their fleet of vehicles, as a reduction in engine volume will lead to greater payloads and lower fuel consumption.
In the short-term, this manufacturing procedure can be used for highly specific applications or small runs. Following on from these successful initial tests, engineers at Renault Trucks will be continuing their work on this manufacturing process to further increase the performance and functionality of truck components.