CLEVELAND—F. Joseph Walker, global technology director of materials and laboratories for Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, says conventional automotive materials and seals won't cut it when it comes to meeting the demands of a 54.5 mpg fuel fleet standard.
Walker will emphasize that technologically advanced suppliers, such as Freudenberg, already are pursuing new materials and component designs that address the emerging industry challenges associated with higher fuel economy standards during a presentation at the Advanced Design and manufacturing Expo, held March 7-8 in Cleveland.
"If we're going to get to 54.5 mpg, we have to address the changes in the environment inside the engine," Walker said in a statement. "Factors like fuels, lubricants, temperatures, times and pressures must be analyzed and seals and materials need to evolve to meet new demands. We are conducting extensive research to ensure that elastomer mixtures maintain high elasticity, good setting behavior, high tolerance for temperature fluctuations and good media resistance while preserving excellent seal functionality."
He added that other powertrains such as hybrids, battery and fuel cell systems require new sealing and material solutions.
"Once again materials must move forward to address issues like thermal management, safety and friction reduction. Suppliers are under pressure to keep up," he said.
Walker will present his views on March 8 at 11:15 a.m. as part of the panel titled "How We're Making Changes in Our Manufacturing for the 2025 CAFE Standard." The panel discussion will take place in Room 3 of the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and will be moderated by Charles Murray, a member of the Design News editorial staff. Other panelists include Brett Smith from the Center for Automotive Research and Lyle Otremba from Cooper Standard Automotive Inc.