And no, it is not related to the laxative called Metamucil
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Nov. 10, 2011
2013 Ford Escape – While the hybrid is gone, the 1.6L EcoBoost is expected to take the Escape to as high as 34 mpgUS highway.
The all-new Ford Escape, slated for reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week features a powertrain lineup with two fuel-efficient four-cylinder options, including the new 1.6- and 2.0L EcoBoost engines. The Escape will be Ford’s first SUV to be available with the 1.6L EcoBoost and is expected to deliver class-leading fuel economy and performance.
Ford’s direct injected and turbo charged 158 HP 1.6L EcoBoost engine also incorporates twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver the performance of an older larger displacement engine and will make its North American debut in the all-new 2013 Ford Escape.
MuCell Plastic – A lower cost and lighter weight alternative
Microscopic cells are helping to save weight which reduces fuel consumption in future Ford vehicles. Ford’s idea was to start with the instrument panel of the all-new 2013 Escape. It is the first time the MuCell process has been used in an instrument panel, the largest automotive component to use the process.
MuCell was invented by MIT, and subsequently acquired by Trexel in 1995. According to Ford, the process was initially created for development and commercial use in the injection molding industry. The MuCell process involves the highly controlled use of a gas such as CO2 or nitrogen in the injection-molding process, which creates millions of micron-sized bubbles in uniform configurations, lowering the weight of the plastic part.
Creating the instrument panel structure in microcellular foam saves an estimated $3 per vehicle in the United States vs. solid injection molding. Weight also is reduced by more than 1 lb., molding cycle time is reduced 15 percent and molding clamp tonnage is reduced 45 percent.
Weight savings of a little more than one pound may seem insignificant, but plastic parts are an area where it is particularly challenging to save weight without sacrificing strength, durability, function, aesthetics and a soft to the touch feel.
This innovative microcellular foaming technology also saves petroleum as well as reducing overhead and energy costs by reducing the amount of time and fuel to produce and ship the plastic pieces.
The MuCell process has already been used successfully in Ford vehicles in Europe for valve covers, along with heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.