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MAHLE oil filters: ample experience for many cars and engines
MAHLE has long been manufacturing high-quality oil filters for many large automobile and engine manufacturers—and of course the same machines produce identical filters for the aftermarket. This high level of quality has clear advantages: it ensures reliable function, good engine protection, and satisfied customers. The diversity of types is constantly increasing, however, as new engine architectures allow less and less space in the engine bay. Areas of application range from petrol and diesel engines for passenger cars and commercial vehicles to motorcycles and small engines. Because optimal lubrication of the bearings is extremely critical in all of these engines, all vehicle manufacturers require that oil filters be changed regularly.
Downsizing (increasing engine output or reducing engine size), the use of turbochargers, stop-start technology, new fuels such as E10 or biodiesel—the requirements for engine oil and the oil filter are constantly increasing. Oil change intervals are also getting longer and longer—in part due to environmental protection. This means that oil filters must exhibit continuously improved performance and screen out dirt particles reliably for up to 50,000 km. At the same time, they need to offer less resistance to flowing oil and be smaller and lighter in weight. This is no simple task. Only the best materials and pleat geometries can meet these requirements. The pleats produce a large surface area required by the filter in order to retain a large amount of dirt and ensure sufficient oil flow.
This becomes difficult when oil become particularly thick in the cold of winter or the filter is already severely clogged. When starting the engine, the cold oil can generate up to 20 bar of pressure and flows very slowly through the filter. In this case, a pressure-relief valve is needed in order to send the oil on its way through the engine. Another valve ensures that the filter is filled with fresh oil every time the engine in started: the so-called anti-drain valve.
Developing new manufacturing methods and processing innovative materials using the latest technology are all on the agenda at MAHLE. For example, they use ultrasound to weld a plastic non-woven layer to a layer of paper. To this end, they set up a special cutting-edge system in St. Michael/Austria.
MAHLE also recently started manufacturing plastic oil filter module housings. The components differ from previous aluminium housings in that they have simple radial O-ring seals instead of axial sealing concepts. The oil guidance channels have small cross sections and the threaded connection does not place any force flow directly onto the plastic. This results in weight savings of 5–15 per cent—and thus lower fuel consumption.
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