Expertise in new media
HVariable valve train. Downsizing. Turbocharged engines. — Also in oil filter design the continuing development in engine technology presents a challenge, with a clear trend towards increasingly finer filter media. This is because the filter surface and therefore the efficiency and oil purity can only be increased with the use of finer filter fibres. Today’s Oil filters have to collect many times more dirt, filter out finer particles and simultaneously last longer. This increases the demands on collection capacity and material stability even further. At the same time, the oil filter designers are challenged to produce more compact external dimensions—because the available space is getting smaller all the time.
THE CHANGE INTERVAL CHALLENGE
Many automobile and engine manufacturers demand further increases in change interval lengths—which have been more than trebled by the MAHLE engineers during the past 2 years alone. In the mean time, an oil filter needs changing after about 30,000 km on average. A trend that is bound to continue—driven also by oil condition sensors and optimised fully synthetic oils. On the other hand, many of the oil filters that are replaced are of a higher grade – and therefore the workshops are compensated for the longer change intervals with higher earnings per unit.
INHOSPITABLE CONDITIONS FOR OIL FILTERS
Another important consideration in the development of future filter media is the increasing use of alternative fuels. Due to an accumulation of biodiesel in the engine oil, extremely aggressive conditions are created at high temperatures and make the task of the filter medium even more difficult.
The load factors have direct effect on the so-called embrittlement limit, which determines the service life span of the filter in the end. If this limit is reached, the material is fatigued and non-functional. This means that even when the filter element is not jet clogged, it cannot collect any more dirt.
MAHLE has recognised these new challenges in good time and is working to develop new, innovative filter media that provide significantly better resistance to these new operating conditions.
THE SOLUTION FROM THE MAHLE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT:
A NEW FILTER MEDIUMA
typical example from this development is the OX 345 D Eco. Instead of filter paper or cellulose fleece, this filter is equipped with a fully synthetic multilayer filter medium made from plastic fibre. The filter can even remove up to 95 % of tiny particles just 10 ìm in size (in comparison: conventional filter media can only achieve up to 40 % of this). In order to make the filter extremely leak-proof without bypasses, its end plates are plasticized, i.e. the materials are “welded” together without adhesives. To prevent the dreaded block forming, which can significantly reduce the filter performance, the pleats are protected by two plastic bands around their circumference.
EOX 345 D Eco: the oil filter with a new type of filter medium for the vehicles and engines of the next generation..
EA comparison between conventional cellulose based media and fully synthetic media.