August 11, 2009
Three engineers from Flame-Spray Industries Inc., Port Washington, N.Y., and one Ford Motor Co. retiree have received the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation's 36th National Inventor of the Year award at a ceremony held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The award is the best-known honor for American inventors.
Inventors Keith Kowalsky, Daniel Marantz, and David Cook, Ph.D., from Flame-Spray and James Baughman, a Ford retiree, were recognized for their development of the plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) thermal spray apparatus and method. The PTWA process can deposit a molten metal coating on the internal surface of a cylinder, such as pipes, pumps, and engine bores common in the automotive industry. It was designed to replace cast-iron liners in aluminum engines.
The invention took more than 10 years to perfect. Using the method, automotive manufacturers can reduce the weight of a V-8 engine by about 6 lbs.