Thanks to a new polymer coating, MAHLE is extending the service life of bearings by reducing friction and increasing seizure resistance while simultaneously improving the boundary lubrication properties. Bearings are found on the connecting rods, crankshafts and camshafts in combustion engines and are put under increasingly high loads due to emission control measures.
The new polymer coating with melamine cyanurate recently developed by MAHLE improves the characteristics of bearings in combustion engines, according to the company. Melamine cyanurate has unique lubrication properties thanks to its low friction coefficient on account of its multilayered structure. MAHLE says this enables a quicker transition of the bearing to a hydrodynamic lubrication region.
At the same time, melamine cyanurate has a high thermal stability, enabling it to ensure a more robust operation of the bearing under conditions of inadequate lubrication. This allows a 20 percent increase in the load limit at which the bearing shell starts to seize. The new bearings can therefore easily withstand the elevated loads that increasingly arise in the course of an engine’s life due to emission control measures such as the use of stop-start systems and hybrid or coasting operation. The significantly higher performance parameters were demonstrated in exhaustive bench and engine tests.
“The new polymer coating is a good example of how the continuous optimization of the combustion engine can contribute to reducing emissions,” said Dr. Andreas Pfeifer, head of product development engine systems and components at MAHLE.
As part of its dual corporate strategy, MAHLE is constantly driving forward the optimization of the combustion engine, which, for the coming years, it sees as an important element in the environmental and economic viability of the drive mix of the future. At the same time, MAHLE is accelerating e-mobility and working on solutions to make electric vehicles affordable and suitable for everyday use.