Evinrude Puts Space Technology to Work on the Sea

A company well-known to boaters for its outboard motors receives an out of this world honor this month. More specifically, Evinrude will be inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame in Colorado Spring on April 19th. The honor comes on the heels of the Sturtevant, Wisconsin-headquartered company’s role in commercializing the high-strength, wear-resistant aluminum alloy (NASA 398) originally developed by two NASA scientists. NASA 398 is stronger than industry-standard piston materials. Its durability exceeds the needs of piston application while significantly reducing overall engine weight. Evinrude introduced pistons fabricated with the new aluminum alloy in 2003 and currently features the technology in its line of E-TEC engines.

“We started with a clean slate when we developed the E-TEC line and needed materials that were strong, light and could withstand the harsh marine environment,” says Tracy Crocker, Evinrude’s senior vice-president and general manager. “Although there are other materials that could be used, none has the strength-to-weight ratio of NASA 398. Its use helped us set new standards for torque and fuel efficiency. By incorporating NASA 398 and a wealth of other advanced materials and design techniques, South Florida boaters have the opportunity to experience the most advanced outboard on the market.” www.evinrude.com

Carol_Bareuther
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.