A fuel injector used on Honda vehicles sold in Brazil to improve cold-start performance in ethanol-fueled vehicles won the most innovative use of plastics award in the powertrain category in this year’s Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. Results were announced last night.
“Cold start is a fairly pervasive issue in vehicles that run on 100 percent ethanol (E100), like those in Brazil,” said Dave Dues, Delphi Flex Fuel Vehicles Program chief engineer. E100 does not form a combustible vapor at cold temperatures so most automakers add a second gasoline fuel system for starting below 55°F (13°C).
The Multec 3.5 Heated Tip Port Fuel Injector has an integrated heating device that rapidly heats ethanol fuel so it can evaporate and be ignited more efficiently in cold weather. The integrated component, overmolded with DuPont Zytel HTN PPA, eliminates a secondary gasoline tank. DuPont developed a new electrically friendly, heat-stabilized grade that also can be laser marked for identification.
Cavity pressure transducers were added to the mold tooling to prevent collapse of the thin metal heating tube during overmolding. The overmold tooling was supplied by Baldi Ferramentaria, a Brazilian moldmaker.
Weight savings of the part are estimated at 8.8 kg, and the direct cost savings is $60. The HTI injector is also in use on three other OEM vehicle lines.