Talking to our President, Professor John Campbell, Emeritus Professor of Casting at Birmingham University, UK, I find that it is he who invented the Cosworth Casting Process. He asked that I draw this to your attention as you have mistakenly referred to him as David towards the end of the article about this process at http://www.v8sho.com/SHO/cosworthcasting.html .
Eur. Ing. Brian Hammond, DipEE, DMS, MIET
Lichfield Science and Engineering Society (LSES)
6 Darnford Lane
(Thanks to Ford Media)
If proof was needed that technology developed in motorsports can transfer to the production of mainstream vehicle components, then the Ford Windsor Aluminum Casting Plant is one of the best examples. The plant in Ontario, Canada, has been producing aluminum engine blocks since 1991, thanks to a combination of Cosworth innovation and Ford manufacturing vision.
Lightweight cylinder blocks that display the same strength and precision that are essential to the world of racing are now being built for the volume car market through the use of the Cosworth Casting Process at the Ford Windsor plant.
Ford's first world car, the Contour/Mystique in North America and Mondeo in Europe, was the first to benefit from the new technology, followed by North America's Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable. These vehicles are powered by 2.5-liter or 3.0-liter versions of the Ford Duratec V-6 engine, while other applications for the Windsor block include the 3.4-liter V-8 engine in the Ford Taurus SHO and the 4.6-liter four-valve V-8 for the Lincoln Continental and Ford Mustang Cobra.
The Cosworth Casting Process was born out of the need to make the enormously successful Ford Cosworth DFV F1 engine even better. In the 1970s, when the engine was approaching the peak of its success, the engine team became concerned that it was being held back because the quality of castings for the racing engines was not considered good enough.
Frustration with the poor quality peaked when early DFX (turbocharged DFV variant for CART champ car racing) cylinder heads were being produced. Keith Duckworth, co-founder of Cosworth Engineering with Mike Costin, said, "If there was any porosity around the valve seats, we used to get heads back looking as if they were flame cut. We were getting a bad name for having heads which could hardly survive. I was fed up with that. My view was that if it was possible to supply good castings some of the time, it must also be possible to supply good castings all of the time."
So Duckworth implemented the search for better models. With Dr. David Campbell heading the research, the "Coscat" process became a reality by the mid-1980s. Ford then took the new process under license from Cosworth Engineering and built the 270,000-square-foot Aluminum foundry in Windsor, Ontario, to put the process into practice. Cosworth Engineering worked closely with Ford engineers throughout the planning, building and commissioning of the plant, which opened in 1991.
Today, hundreds of thousands of motorists worldwide are benefiting from the fruits of that partnership between technological innovation and mass application, brought about through motorsport.