PLYMOUTH, Mich. (Feb. 16, 2010)—Freudenberg-NOK G.P. has developed a new automotive engine seal that is designed to use less than one-fourth the energy used by conventional radial shaft seals.
The Energy Saving Seal was unveiled during a news conference at the firm's headquarters in Plymouth.
“Our engineers have reinvented the radial shaft seal to help our customers meet increasing demands for better fuel economy and emissions,” said Ted Duclos, vice president of operations and technology. “With our innovative ESS product lineup, we've reduced power loss in drive assemblies by drastically reducing friction, which has a direct, positive impact on fuel consumption.
Freudenberg-NOK officials claimed that if all engine, transmission, axle and bearing seals on all light vehicles in the U.S. were replaced with ESS technology that it would save more than 2 billion gallons of gas annually, or about 10 gallons per vehicle.
The technology combines a proprietary elastomer with a new optimized lip loading design that in many cases eliminates the need for the spring found in conventional shaft seals.
Besides applications on light vehicles, Freudenberg-NOK will use the technology on its MileMaker-brand seal for commercial vehicles, which it said could result in $1,000 in diesel fuel savings over the life of the seal per commercial truck. It also can be used on rotating seals for a variety of global markets, including aerospace, agriculture and construction, railway, power generation and renewable energy.