SOUTHFIELD, MI — Automotive engine rebuilders have embraced aluminum engine bearing technologies and are adopting this new material for a broad range of late-model automotive applications, according to engineering and marketing representatives at Federal-Mogul Corp.
Federal-Mogul, a pioneer in the use of aluminum bearings in both new and rebuilt automotive engines, introduced its Sealed Power A-Series aftermarket bearing line in 2002. Raymond King, director of underhood and wheel-end marketing for Federal-Mogul, says the A-series design offers greater seizure resistance and durability and has seen substantial market growth since its introduction.
“Engine rebuilders are understandably reluctant to adopt new materials and designs, but they simply can’t ignore the benefits of advancements in aluminum bearing technology,” King said. “We’re pleased to be on the cutting edge of this technology and our engineers continue to refine our aluminum-silicon formulations and proprietary bearing design characteristics.”
Advanced aluminum bearings have largely replaced tri-metal technologies within new passenger-vehicle engines, King added. OEMs have adopted aluminum-silicon bearings due to superior seizure resistance and reduced or eliminated bearing wear in a wide range of automotive applications, according to King. King says the increased wear resistance is due in large part to the use of silicon which produces significantly increased surface hardness. The silicon particles also help polish the crank surface during engine operation, further reducing friction and related wear.
King says that most new engine manufacturers now specify “bored” rather than “broached” inside diameter surfaces. “Boring is by far a more precise process that improves the bearing’s oil retention, seizure resistance and fatigue strength,” says King. King says he expects this new design will help aftermarket engine rebuilders deliver even greater engine performance and reliability.
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