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Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV: Extended range with lightweight rotary engine innovation Car manufacturer relies on HVOF Thermal Spray solutions from Oerlikon Metco

Innovation in the automotive industry has been a driving force for change towards sustainability and efficiency. The MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV exemplifies Mazda‘s innovative approach to automotive design. By repurposing the traditional rotary engine (Wankel) as a range extender in a plug-in hybrid powertrain, Mazda leveraged compactness and lightness to extend the vehicle‘s range significantly.

However, the pioneer in automotive engineering, faced a unique challenge with its MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV project: the car maker aimed to optimize the rotary unit of this model by transitioning from cast iron to aluminum, seeking to reduce weight by 15 kg while maintaining durability and performance. Oerlikon‘s advanced thermal spray solution using HVOF technology played a pivotal role in Mazda‘s transformation.

With a reputation spanning decades in the Japanese market, Oerlikon Metco emerged as the preferred choice for Mazda. Renowned not only for superior equipment quality and material supply but also for localized support in application development.

Photo provided by: Mazda Motor Corporation, reproduction or diversion not permitted.

For this project, Oerlikon delivered its full turnkey automated production system based on its MultiCoatTM architecture including conveyors and dust collectors, showcasing its commitment to providing end-to-end solutions tailored to Mazda‘s needs.

Oerlikon provided comprehensive support throughout the project, from prototyping assistance to optimizing spray parameters and designing the production system. The delivered solution included WOKA carbide material.

Photo provided by: Mazda Motor Corporation, reproduction or diversion not permitted.

The thermal spray technology (HVOF) applied to the side housings of the 830 cm3 (Type 8C) rotary engine offers significant benefits, particularly in reducing wear. By transitioning the side housings to aluminum, wear caused by sliding side seals and oil seals, as well as aggravated oil consumption, was a concern.

However, the application of carbide coatings using high-speed flame spraying ensures high wear resistance and compatibility with oil seals, minimizing wear and frictional resistance while maintaining oil seal functionality. This innovative coating technology forms a dense film on the surface, enhancing surface hardness and durability, even with the material change from cast iron to aluminum. Ultimately, the thermal spray solution optimizes performance and durability, providing long-term benefits for the rotary engine‘s efficiency and reliability.

Mazda‘s MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV achieved remarkable efficiency metrics, boasting a combined fuel effi ciency of 1.0 liter of petrol per 100 kilometers, with CO2 emissions of 21 grams per kilometer and an electrical energy consumption of 17.5 kWh per 100 km.

Through collaboration with Oerlikon, Mazda achieved another innovation in its long-year automotive engineering tradition by optimizing performance and efficiency in the MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV allowing significant longer distances. This partnership underscores the power of innovation and technology to develop a balanced and efficient solution for longer distances in the automotive industry.

Photo provided by: Mazda Motor Corporation, reproduction or diversion not permitted.

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