Innovative Sealing Solutions for Engines, Transmissions and Alternative Drives
Plymouth, Mich. - As a world-class technology leader, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has collaborated closely with the automotive industry to introduce innovative sealing solutions that address crucial issues such as emission reduction and improved fuel economy. Freudenberg’s award winning LESS (Low Emission Sealing Solution) initiative, launched in 2009, introduced a myriad of powertrain sealing products designed to help customers achieve more eco-friendly cars and trucks. Now the company has expanded its LESS lineup to include new products designed to tackle challenges associated with powertrain friction, smaller spaces, lighter weight vehicles and growth in the electric mobility vehicle arena.
Climate change and diminishing natural resources are just two of the issues today’s vehicle manufacturers are working to address. Demands that drive systems and engines achieve greater energy efficiency, maintain a longer service life and emit fewer pollutants are also greater than ever. Freudenberg’s innovative seal technology offers manufacturers enormous potential.
"Our seal solutions help to minimize friction, optimize the combustion process, reduce weight, and thus significantly lower vehicles' energy consumption and emissions," said Claus Möhlenkamp, Chief Executive Officer of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. "The conservation of the environment and its resources is a core component of our entrepreneurial behavior. With our long-standing technology and material expertise, we develop comprehensive solutions for all vehicle components that have an impact on energy consumption and emissions and thus help our customers achieve their development goals."
Four Core Areas
The LESS portfolio covers the product groups engine, transmissions and electric mobility and was developed to focus on four core areas: emission, friction and weight reduction as well as downsizing. One leading product for the reduction of emissions and friction is the gas-lubricated mechanical face seal Levitex®, which lowers CO2 emissions by up to 1 g of CO2 per kilometer during driving. The Levitex seal also promotes a longer operating life by reducing powertrain wear. The seal’s greater pressure stability is assisting with new developments in engine technology and a major German manufacturer has selected Levitex for its first series production order. Other premium and volume manufacturers have also expressed an interest in Levitex.
LESS is also focused on emissions reduction in transmission development. That is why Freudenberg developed the Levitas seal ring. Levitas is especially applicable in transmissions with eight or more gears. The seal’s low-torque design allows it to withstand the greater mechanical stresses associated with transmissions of this type. Additionally, the Levitas seal is made of the company’s proprietary Quantum PTFE material.
Downsizing substantially increases the efficiency of internal combustion engines. But it creates new challenges with regard to low-friction characteristics, heat and pressure resistance, and material compatibility. Downsizing is always closely associated with weight reduction. While a compact car still weighed less than 800 kg 30 years ago, increased comfort and safety needs have pushed its weight to 1,200 kg. Replacing metal with plastic saves up to 50 percent of a part’s weight. Plastic components also offer greater potential for the integration of extra functions or components along with greater design freedom than their metal counterparts do. Efficient lightweight design is thus one of the most effective measures to reduce emissions. Here Freudenberg is offering products such as the BlueSeal: About 40 percent lighter than a conventional seal, it only needs half as much axial installation space. Every millimeter that a crankshaft Simmerring saves can be used to reduce the size and weight of the entire engine block. The BlueSeal is also highly - resistant to high pressures, and its friction-optimized PTFE seal lip withstands very aggressive media and reduces frictional losses by 30 percent.
Driving Electrically is the Future
Even if internal combustion engines still dominate the automotive industry, the electrification of the drivetrain is becoming more important. Driving electrically is part of the future. But different energy sources not only require the development of alternative powertrain systems. They demand new technologies as well. Whether it is seals for battery systems, materials that resist biomass and gaseous fuels, or frame seals for lithium pouch cells – Freudenberg is presenting impressive, innovative solutions in its LESS portfolio. Fuel cell gaskets, which are precise sealing solutions for fuel cell stacks, are one example. The company’s Simmerring Radial Shaft Seal incorporates an electrically-conductive nonwoven that prevents electrostatic discharge in the engine.
"The new LESS initiative gets to the heart of our efforts to achieve sustainability in our products. Our customers appreciate our commitment very much," Möhlenkamp said. "Responsible behavior means going all out to develop solutions for the future – and managing natural resources sparingly and economically in the meantime. We will only achieve sustainable growth if we concentrate on 'less' today."
Detailed information on LESS products can be found at http://less.fst.com.
About Freudenberg Sealing Technologies
As the leading specialist in sealing applications and their markets, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies is a supplier as well as a development and service partner serving customers in a wide variety of sectors including the automotive industry, civil aviation, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, the food and pharmaceuticals industries, and agricultural and construction machinery. In 2015, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies generated sales of about €2.3 billion and employed more than 15,000 people. More information at www.fst.com
In the US, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies runs the business operations of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) in the Americas. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is a joint venture between FST and NOK Corp. in Japan, is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas.
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies GmbH Co. KG
Ulrike Reich, Head of Media Relations
office: +49 (0)6201 80 5713
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Cheryl Eberwein, Director, Media Relations
Office: +1 734-354-7373