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Old 26th September 2011, 15:59   #1
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Default Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

In a brief and not particularly well-written report, today's Hindustan Times claims that Tata Motors is working on an all-aluminium engine for its car models.

According to the report, "Tata Motors is planning to take the aluminum route to woo the price-conscious Indian consumer."

The reporter could have used better words since using only aluminium would push up the car prices. He does talk about the resultant higher FE in the subsequent sentence though.

We can perhaps expect still higher FE figures for Indigo CS and Indica eV2 in the coming months.

Here's the link:

Aluminum engines for Tata cars - Hindustan Times
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Old 26th September 2011, 17:21   #2
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

I'm not entirely sure about this. I'll be amazed if TATA can pull this off without reliability issues. Off all the parts of a car, the engine isn't the best one to make out of a weaker metal. As it is TATA cars are known for their quick ageing.
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Old 26th September 2011, 17:49   #3
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by devil_angel View Post
Off all the parts of a car, the engine isn't the best one to make out of a weaker metal. As it is TATA cars are known for their quick ageing.
Many of the Maruti cars have aluminium engine, say Gypsy, Baleno, Esteem, etc. Don't think weaker metal has been an issue there. But I am not aware of diesel engines.
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Old 26th September 2011, 18:45   #4
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Arrow Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by devil_angel View Post
... the engine isn't the best one to make out of a weaker metal...
Though it is mentioned as "Aluminium", what is understood is "Aluminium alloy" (and not pure aluminium), and there are some alloys of aluminium which are quite strong and light-weight at the same time. Modern engines (including diesel) generally use Aluminium alloys at lease in some parts of the whole engine : here the article mentions all-aluminium, which probably indicates that major parts of the engine are going to be made of aluminium alloy.

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 26th September 2011 at 19:11.
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Old 26th September 2011, 18:51   #5
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

Actually every body who matters is making aluminum engines for cars. Apart from good design, an aluminum engine manufacturing requires good casting facilities, and proper metal formulation. If MUL is getting the engine block and head sourced locally, there is no reason for Tata get it also. With JLR know how, an aluminum engine should be feasible for Tata R&D to implement without much ado.
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Old 26th September 2011, 19:07   #6
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

Tata going Honda way for diesel engines, I wonder why ? I mean for the passenger car market they have the excellent Fiat engines, plus their own 2.2 Dicor.

Its most likely for the export market where they have to meet stricter emission norms , so probably an attempt to cut down on the weight of their cars as well.

Last edited by indivic : 26th September 2011 at 19:08.
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Old 26th September 2011, 19:53   #7
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

They have just begun. It will require a credible investment in time and material to achieve the ultimate goal of an Engine.

I hope they are not using the TDI engine on the Vista to start with if its diesel and I hope its the 2.2 VTT.

Aluminium alloys are good at heat transfer if I am not wrong and it is strong enough to withstand the diesel engine pressures.

I think it is the right direction that they are on. Just wondering why they want an Aluminium Engine now ? I mean like with Nano they had a vision of 1Lakh rupee car. What is the vision with the Aluminium engine ?

Anyways All the best TATA.
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Old 27th September 2011, 10:15   #8
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

Aluminum alloy is strong enough for Diesel Engines. BMW has a 6 cylinder one. Even diesel generators are now switching to all aluminum engines. It is the complicated casting and material control, which is tighter than in cast iron, that is the stumbling block, and not the material itself.
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Old 28th September 2011, 15:29   #9
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

Infact I remember the ACE concept introduced by maruti couple of years back for all their cars (i.e. All aluminium contemporary engine). I was always told that aluminium engines are slightly nosiy compared their existing counterparts. Tata cars are already noisy not sure how the aluminium engines would react
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Old 28th September 2011, 17:51   #10
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by sumitdongerkery View Post
Infact I remember the ACE concept introduced by maruti couple of years back for all their cars (i.e. All aluminium contemporary engine). I was always told that aluminium engines are slightly nosiy compared their existing counterparts. Tata cars are already noisy not sure how the aluminium engines would react
I doubt that it is aluminum that is noisy. In fact though it is lighter, aluminum engines would have thicker webs, hence less noisy. Any way there are simple ways, like placing insulators inside the crank case, using belt instead of chain to drive the cam, etc, to reduce noise.

In CRDI engines the timing and spreading of the injection of fuel can reduce the typical diesel noise to a whisper, while increasing the combustion efficiency and hence reducing pollution. That is why you will find the current high end diesel engine approaching petrol engines noise levels.
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Old 9th November 2011, 13:41   #11
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Many of the Maruti cars have aluminium engine, say Gypsy, Baleno, Esteem, etc. Don't think weaker metal has been an issue there. But I am not aware of diesel engines.
I thought most cars used C.I. engine blocks. Guess I was wrong; and thank you Blue Thunder for pointing out that they're refering to the alloy and not the base metal, and explaining it.
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Old 9th November 2011, 15:00   #12
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by devil_angel View Post
I thought most cars used C.I. engine blocks. Guess I was wrong; and thank you Blue Thunder for pointing out that they're referring to the alloy and not the base metal, and explaining it.
Actually even the so called cast iron engine blocks are not base iron (that is wrought iron) but alloys.
Basics of Design Engineering - Engineering Materials - Ferrous Metals - Cast iron
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Old 9th November 2011, 18:16   #13
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Actually even the so called cast iron engine blocks are not base iron (that is wrought iron) but alloys.
Basics of Design Engineering - Engineering Materials - Ferrous Metals - Cast iron
Yes bro, I'm aware of that. Base C.I is not readily workable with. I've studied metals and metallurgy too
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Old 9th November 2011, 22:08   #14
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by indivic View Post
Tata going Honda way for diesel engines, I wonder why ? I mean for the passenger car market they have the excellent Fiat engines, plus their own 2.2 Dicor.

Its most likely for the export market where they have to meet stricter emission norms , so probably an attempt to cut down on the weight of their cars as well.
Diesel engines are one of tata's core competencies. sure they might have stumbled with the dicor, but they do have a lot of other decent engines, and just because of the fiat diesel engine, doesnt mean they have to abandon their know how about small diesel engines.
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Old 9th November 2011, 23:20   #15
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Default Re: Tata working on all-aluminium car engine

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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Diesel engines are one of tata's core competencies.
True. Besides, if I recollect right, the Audi R10 TDI achieved some nice milestones winning the Le Mans in 2006, with its all-aluminium bi-turbo diesel engine. If such a stressed application proved successful 5 years ago, surely technology has progressed sufficiently since then for Tata to reach for this towards a significantly lesser stressed application such as a passenger car engine.

I truly wish they do something about the rest of the car now!
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