Inside Ford’s Advanced Aluminum Engines (w/ Video)

Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang Aluminum Engine

The all-aluminum engines in Ford’s latest Shelby GT500 Mustangs typically make headlines for their staggering power output, but there’s some extremely high-tech stuff happening behind the scenes that makes Ford’s engines truly unique. That’s because- unlike other aluminum engines- Ford has found a way to make big power without the use of cylinder sleeves.

Ford is calling its new process for treating the aluminum blocks to a fine mist of molten steel “Plasma Transferred Wire Arc technology”, and it’s wild. Basically, an argon-hydrogen plasma arc of about 35,000 degrees F atomizes a wire feed and pressurized air blows the droplets onto the cylinder walls that earlier had been specially machined to accept and help bond the material to the surface. The molten steel will oxidize and build up layers inside the bore to a thickness of 150 micrometers. Ford then diamond-hones the cylinders to achieve the final smoothness and bore diameter.

It’s stuff like this that makes the future of Ford’s Ecoboost engine family seem so bright, you know? No pun intended there, by the way, if you skipped ahead to watch the video, below, before reading this. If you haven’t, you’ll see what I mean in a minute. Enjoy!


Ford’s Cylinder Bore Prep In Action On GT350 Engine Block

Source | Images: Ford, via EngineLabs.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.