PLYMOUTH, Mich.—Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies GmbH & Co. not only will be a gold sponsor of the 2014 SAE International Supermileage competition, but it also will offer each of the 29 teams two custom crankshaft seals for use in the design process.
The firm scaled down its Energy Saving Seal specifically for the Briggs and Stratton model nine engine used by all teams in the competition.
The goal is to design the most fuel-efficient single-passenger car using the engine.
Freudenberg's ESS line of seals is used in today's automotive market by original equipment manufactures to reduce friction in the crankshaft by about 57 percent, the firm said.
“In this competition, those precious watts that are saved mean an incredible amount to those student competitors,” said Rory Pawl, director of future technology for Freudenberg-NOK. “That's what we're trying to achieve for all of the automotive original equipment manufacturers and the general industry when they try to meet their fuel emissions regulations.”
The competition will be held June 5-6 at the Eaton Corp. Marshall Proving Grounds in Marshall, Mich.
The Stratton motors are very small, starting at 3.5 horsepower. Freudenberg's seals needed to be scaled down from their typical 60-100 millimeter size to about 25 millimeters for the engine's crankshaft.
However, the firm said the seal provides substantial energy savings compared to seals on the original equipment, which utilized about 32 and 15 watts of power. By comparison, ESS seals use a little more than six watts.
“As you can imagine, there is a massive increase in power that they're not wasting on friction on a seal and can instead be put toward those precious miles per gallon that they're competing for,” said Mike Rowe strategic product development manager for Freudenberg-NOK.