New technology offers Mercury a competitive edge

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (June 8, 2001) ( Mercury Marine recently entered into a new era of technology leadership by opening North America's only pressurized lost foam foundry located at their world headquarters.

"The $10.7 million Mercury Castings' foundry features state-of-the art pressurized technology that will serve as a benchmark, not only for the casting industry, but for the boating industry also," said Pat Mackey, president of Mercury Marine. "Unlike earlier foam processes, we apply 150 psi of pressure to the molten aluminum during the manufacturing process for the production of high quality, complex aluminum castings."

Beginning with research on Mercury's existing lost foam line and best practices of other OEM engine builders, Mercury Castings set out to patent portions of the new casting process for complex components that have intricate internal features and shapes that are not easily or efficiently created using traditional die-casting methods. The technology uses 150 psi of pressure to force the molten aluminum into intricate mold cavities during the manufacturing process.

Prior to this proprietary technology, Mackey explained that eight separate die castings were needed to produce a 60-horsepower engine block. "This new process uses only one cast, which is lighter and cheaper, as well as eliminates the need for down-the-line processing. The result is a better product for less, making us more competitive."

As compared to castings produced on gravity lost foam casting lines, the advantages of high pressure are:
* lowers the porosity level to near undetectable levels
* increases the cycle fatigue strength by 50 percent
* extends the life of the casting - up to twice as long
* allows Mercury to create hypereutectic (high-silicon) aluminum components
* produces a higher-quality product

As the only company in North America to offer aluminum casting under pressure capabilities, Mercury has also patented a new low-copper alloy, Mercosil. Mercosil is a functionally unique alloy that exhibits high corrosion resistance and also exhibits increased wear resistance.

Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick Corporation is a marketer and manufacturer of leading consumer brands including Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; Sea Ray, Bayliner and Maxum pleasure boats; Baja high-performance boats; Boston Whaler and Trophy offshore fishing boats; Princecraft deck and pontoon boats; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and ParaBody fitness equipment; Brunswick bowling centers, equipment and consumer products; and Brunswick billiards tables.