Modern internal combustions engines continue to evolve toward increased performance and efficiency, plus reduced emissions, through the utilization of advanced computer-controlled combustion strategies and alternative fuels. Achieving requisite durability, however, places increased demands on the high-temperature strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance of components such as valves. Materials that can meet these challenges have historically been costly aerospace superalloys which contain significant fractions of strategic metals such as Nickel. As the performance demands increase, and the cost of strategic materials increases, cost-favorable alternative alloys will facilitate the advancement of clean and efficient engine technology.
Eaton’s CRUTONITE valve material, developed in partnership with Crucible Specialty Metals, represents a winning innovation offering high temperature and wear resistance, and high strength, that is suitable for demanding high-performance Diesel engines as well as future passenger vehicles employing advanced combustion strategies. The new alloy offers similar performance to aerospace superalloys, but with significantly less strategic metals such as Nickel. These strategic metals are not only costly but are subject to dramatic price volatility. For example, the price of Nickel has fluctuated several hundred percent over a five year period.
The CRUTONITE alloy also provides excellent wear resistance that obviates special hardfacing of valve seats. The alloy composition that resulted in enhanced wear resistance presented manufacturing challenges that were overcome through process innovation by the Eaton/Crucible partnership.
Eaton’s CRUTONITE valves have been embraced and rapidly introduced in commercial applications by their customers because the valves offer the requisite performance and durability at lower cost.