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Federal-Mogul Develops New Seal Design To Reduce Friction

ABR Staff Writer Published 18 March 2010

Federal-Mogul (FDML), a supplier of technologies that enhance safety and improve powertrain efficiency, has developed an new seal design MicroTorq, which reduces friction by up to 70% versus conventional lip-type seals.

The company said that the new seal is expected to enhance the vehicle fuel economy up to 0.49% and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 1-2g/km compared to traditional seal designs. MicroTorq seal overcomes the problems of friction occuring in conventional lip-type seals by virtue of its 'dual-hinge' lip design.

FDML said that the friction contribution from a pair of conventional crankshaft oil seals can account for up to 3.5g/km of a vehicle's CO2 output, depending on the sealing technology, even at modest engine speeds of around 2000rpm.

According to FDML, the MicroTorq seal comes equipped with a piloting foot that allows error-free installation, simultaneously simplifying the assembly process and enhancing the installation robustness. It can be packaged in under 5mm, while the conventional seals require 7-10mm of axial space on the crankshaft.

In addition, when conventional crankshaft seals were replaced with MicroTorq seals, calculated fuel consumption yielded improvements between 0.25% for a compact car equipped with a two-liter engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission and 0.49% for a V8 pickup truck.

Larry Brouwer, director of sealing technology and innovation at Federal-Mogul Powertrain Sealing and Bearings, said: By adopting a fundamentally new design approach, we have developed a family of low friction seals that offer vehicle manufacturers a simple, cost-effective and easily implemented route to reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.

Gerard Chochoy, senior vice president of Federal-Mogul Powertrain Sealing and Bearings, said: MicroTorq seals can offer an immediate CO2 savings of 1-2 g/km on current engine applications and up to 3.5g/km for new engine development with almost no additional cost. That's a big opportunity for Federal-Mogul customers using combustion engines in their vehicles or power generation applications.