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July 2022

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Entirely Ceramic Piston Produced for Chaos Ultracar

The Chaos Ultracar ceramic piston

The Chaos Ultracar ceramic piston and rod

"The first additively manufactured (AM) car engine piston made entirely with ceramic has been developed by Spyros Panopoulos Automotive (SPA) for its revolutionary Chaos Ultracar using XJet technology," said a spokesperson.

Spyros Panopoulos, SPA Founder and a pioneer in the automotive industry, is pursuing speeds of over 300 MPH and acceleration from 0 to 62 MPH in 1.55 seconds for the Chaos, which is currently in development. "Consequently, it has the fastest-revving production car engine ever seen, reaching up to 12,200 RPM and 3,065 HP," said the spokesperson.

To make the engine a reality and support the extreme levels of performance required, the anadiaplasi piston was designed. Anadiaplasi is Spyros Panopoulos' proprietary method of design for AM in which a component takes its shape based on the forces acting on it.

"Material is minimized where it does not support performance and added where reinforcement is needed, optimizing weight while maintaining the strength and temperature resistance of the part-essential for any piston, but particularly testing in such a high-performing engine. The result is an organic complex shape that is light, yet strong. This technique is implemented throughout the Chaos Ultracar," said the spokesperson.

On concluding the design, Panopolous realized that to produce such complex geometry-along with the high accuracy and excellent surface finish required-the only relevant manufacturing technology was AM, and in particular XJet Nanoparticle Jetting. Working in collaboration with Lino 3D, XJet's business partners in Greece, SPA selected XJet Alumina material for the Chaos piston due to its strength, hardness, light weight and almost total resistance to thermal expansion.

"Ceramic offers many advantages compared to other materials," Panopolous said. "It is harder and stiffer than steel, more resistant to heat and corrosion than metals or polymers and weighs significantly less than most metals and alloys. XJet's alumina parts will withstand the high temperatures expected to develop within the combustion chamber as well as on the fast-moving parts."

Panopolous is putting AM to use throughout the Chaos Ultracar with a reported 78% of the body being 3D printed as well as other crucial elements such as the engine block, camshaft and intake valves.

"We are proud to be using such progressive technology in our Ultracar," said Panopolous. "Our projects push performance to the extreme, and so we are extremely selective about the materials and technologies we use. I believe this is the first time ceramic AM is being used in motorsport, and I feel privileged to take that pioneering step."

Haim Levi, XJet VP Strategic Marketing, said, "SPA is taking ceramic AM and design for AM-DfAM-to the edge and beyond with their work on the Chaos Ultracar. We are proud to be part of such a trailblazing project."

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