Formula 1 Grand Prix motor racing is tough. Tough on drivers, and tough on components. At speeds up to 350km/h, engines rev up to 19,000 r.p.m., cornering forces can pull over 4g, and brake discs reach temperatures in excess of 1,000°C. It's an environment that puts vital components to the supreme test - and one that would wreck the working parts of a normal car. In the super-competitive world of F1, failure is unacceptable.
That's why the increasingly successful BMW Sauber F1 team relies on critical fuel-/engine oil-/gearbox oil-/water-/hydraulic system seals and driveshaft boots of Viton® fluoroelastomer made by DuPont Performance Elastomers (DPE) for its BMW Sauber F1.07.
Key engine and drivetrain seals of Viton ® fluoroelastomer have been selected for the new BMW P86/7 V8 engine, powering the increasingly successful 2007 BMW Sauber F1 Team racing cars.
Pushing the limits with Viton®
"We chose components of Viton® because of its chemical and mechanical properties. These key seals must withstand aggressive fuel at up to 60°C, engine and gearbox oil up to 160°C, and water and hydraulic fluids at 120°C. We need high performance in F1 and Viton® fulfils our needs 100 percent," says Willy Rampf, Technical Director of the BMW Sauber F1 Team.
"Viton® meets our requirements. It ensures reliable testing and racing in combination with our lifing system. Apart from the brake fluid circuit, Viton® is basically the only sealing material we are currently using. Because of its properties, Viton® fluoroelastomer gives us the advantage we need to push the limits."
A remarkable F1 debut
Although 2006 was its debut season in the FIA Formula One World Championship, the BMW Sauber F1 Team is already making a big impact. Finishing in second place in the Constructors Championship, and with its drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica placed 5th and 6th in the Drivers Championship, the BMW Sauber F1 Team posted a remarkable performance in its second F1 season.
Much of the success is due to the new BMW P86/7 2,400 cc, 750 b.h.p. V8 engine, the beating heart of BMW Sauber F1.07 developed and built in Munich, and in no small part to the engine, gearbox and hydraulic system seals of Viton® fluoroelastomer.
While the world of Formula One motor racing provides one of the toughest proving grounds for man and materials, the automotive industry itself is the biggest specifier of Viton® fluoroelastomers. Beyond the racing circuits, its greatest challenge is to develop engine, drive train and fuel systems that meet today's tough LEV II (Low Emission Vehicle), PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) and Euro 5 automotive evaporative emissions control legislation.
Viton® fluoroelastomers help automotive manufacturers meet requirements by providing fuel system sealing capability for the lifetime of the vehicle (15 years/150 000 miles) at operating temperatures above 150°C, or as low as -40°C. The Viton® fluoroelastomer also resists global fuel and fuel/alcohol/ether blends including methanol, "sour" gasoline and new biofuels.
About DuPont Performance Elastomers
DuPont Performance Elastomers, a global supplier of specialty elastomers with European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, is a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont. The company is an industry leader in chloroelastomers and fluorinated elastomers, serving the automotive, chemical, petrochemical, semiconductor, food and pharmaceutical processing, construction, general rubber and wire and cable industries.