Global automotive standards calling for higher fuel economy and lower emissions during the next decade continue to drive substantial changes in the industry. Vehicle manufacturers are pursuing a range of powertrain responses including electric drivetrains, hydrogen fuel cells, nine- and 10-speed transmissions and smaller, more powerful, turbocharged engines.
At the heart of these technologies are seals that will continuously function in environments that operate under higher temperatures and pressures with new lubricants in tighter installation spaces.
Freudenberg-NOK, which runs the business operations for global seal manufacturer Freudenberg Sealing Technologies in the Americas, has had the new fluorinated materials under development for the past four years.
Unlike traditional fluorocarbon rubber, which effectively handles temperatures ranging from -40deg to+235deg C, the new formulas effectively seal at temperatures ranging as high as 270deg C.
In addition, Compression Stress Relaxation (CSR) testing performed by Freudenberg-NOK on the high temperature fluorinated materials demonstrated exceptional sealing capability. The elasticity of these materials is maintained along with their flexibility after prolonged high temperature air exposure. Extensive laboratory analysis shows that the chemical resistance for which fluorinated rubber is known and used remains uncompromised.
“We know our customers are being challenged on multiple fronts to develop innovative vehicle system solutions, and we are working with them to meet these challenges through the development of new materials and compounds,” said F. Joseph Walker, Global Technology Director, Materials and Laboratory Services for Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies. “This new family of fluorinated rubber materials, for example, is especially suitable to the high heat, high pressure, static seal environment associated with turbocharging.”
Elastomeric seals are essential to the efficiency of all powertrain technologies. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is focused on developing effective sealing solutions for new technologies like electric vehicle systems and fuel cells as well as new internal combustion engine designs.
During a recent industry conference, the company introduced a portfolio of unique smart materials that combine different properties to achieve sensor and actuator functions in seals. The company’s state-of-the-art material testing and analysis further assures customers that its component solutions function in real world systems where fluids, pressures, temperatures and designs vary widely by model, manufacturer and region.