- since 1996 -
|NDT.net Issue - 2012-06 - NEWS |
|Piston design allows major vehicle manufacturer to significantly reduce CO2 emissions
Nuremberg, Germany, May 7, 2012
The development of a novel two-dimensional (2D)
ultrasonic analysis system allows Federal-Mogul Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML) to create a new
generation of high performance pistons that enable a substantial further step in diesel engine
downsizing. In its first application, the greatly improved cooling capability of the companys
raised gallery piston allowed a Federal-Mogul customer to achieve a CO2 reduction of up to 30
percent compared with the previous generation engine without raised gallery pistons. The first
production application of Federal-Moguls raised gallery piston also delivers a specific power
increase of 25 percent, keeping the piston at temperatures much lower than the acceptable limit
of 400°C. In the same conditions, a standard pistons bowl rim stresses are 43 percent higher
and its temperature reaches 440°C.
Diesel downsizing increases specific power output in order to improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions and also increases the thermal and mechanical loads that diesel pistons must withstand, said Gian Maria Olivetti, Federal-Moguls vice president for technology and innovation, Powertrain Energy. With the development of new highly-loaded engines, the risk of piston failure has increased substantially as past improvements in materials, design and cooling concepts have reached their physical limits. Federal-Moguls innovation in advanced testing techniques, materials science and manufacturing processes greatly reduces the limitations placed on diesel downsizing strategies.
Modern diesel pistons have a cooling gallery, through which oil flows continuously. The position and design of the gallery have a significant impact on the components operating temperature and durability. The closer the gallery is to the piston bowl, the more heat that can be removed, allowing engine manufacturers to increase combustion temperatures and pressures to improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Standard, one-dimensional ultrasonic testing can identify defects but cannot quantify their size and position. Federal-Moguls 2D ultrasonic process, however, provides 125,000 data points in 30 seconds. The technique enables Federal-Mogul engineers to accurately determine the size and position of defects, providing valuable data for casting process development. The detailed information provided also ensures consistent quality in the finished high-precision components.
In the past, it has been very difficult to cast a piston with optimal size and location of the cooling gallery, said Dr. Frank T.H. Doernenburg, Federal-Mogul director of technology, pistons and pins. Federal-Moguls new 2D ultrasonic test has removed that barrier. Our process is nondestructive, completely controls casting process quality and aids advanced casting process development, giving engine designers substantially more freedom to increase engine efficiency.
Federal-Mogul validated its 2D ultrasonic technology by dissecting and sampling hundreds of pistons, correlating the ultrasonic images against destructive testing methods. The research resulted in the development of software tools as well as a number of key physical parameters such as probe geometry, wavelength, beam geometry and focus.
Piston performance can be increased significantly through Federal-Moguls 2D ultrasonic testing and analysis process, which is quickly becoming an enabling technology for more efficient powertrains. This breakthrough in inspection technology was developed at the companys Nuremberg technical centre and was recently awarded a 2012 Automotive News PACE Award.