Auto parts supplier Federal-Mogul Corp. reports it is extending the range of high-temperature materials it uses in designs for bushings and guides for turbochargers and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) components. Turbocharging is nearly universal for diesel engine design, and increasingly common in gasoline engine designs designed to be smaller but to achieve higher specific outputs, as a way to improve fuel consumption and emissions by designing downsized engines that have higher specific outputs.
The new materials are produced with Powder Metallurgy techniques, involving sintering a blend of powdered metals. Federal-Mogul said PM pressing and sintering reduce machining and make it possible to “tailor” the composition to match the required performance characteristics required for the component.
More important, Federal-Mogul said the new materials will allow it to produce components that meet the ambitious durability targets imposed by the designs for smaller, low-CO2 engines.
"Operating at high temperatures can be a considerable challenge, particularly because at very high temperatures no lubrication can be used to reduce friction or wear between moving parts," explained Dr. Bob Pratt, Federal-Mogul's sintered products research manager.
With the greater application of PM, Dr. Pratt says that Federal-Mogul can now support customers with components that provide long-term durability and high temperature corrosion resistance as engine designers push exhaust gas temperatures up to around 1050 degrees C (1922 degrees F), compared with around 800 degrees C (1472 degrees F) for a typical engine application today.
According to Dr. Pratt, PM also allows Federal-Mogul the ability to develop materials that solve specific customer needs and to manufacture components efficiently in the volumes that best optimize the cost and performance for each application. "PM expertise provides a growing opportunity for the company," he added.
Federal-Mogul has dedicated technical centers in Coventry, England, and Waupun, Wis. In addition to turbocharger and EGR components, Federal-Mogul uses these processes to manufacture high-performance valve seats and guides for several global automotive OEMs.
Also, the company is optimizing manufacturing processes for these new composition. "Every change in composition and part geometry also has an impact on processing and machineability," Dr. Pratt explained. "To achieve improved tool life, reduced scrap and lower process times, we are working with customers to help them develop improved tools and processes that allow efficient machining of these very hard materials."