MAHLE Engine Components has announced that a lead-free bearing system has been developed by combining highly engineered polymeric coatings with a robust lead-free bearing lining in order to accommodate heavy-duty truck engines. This new system promises to deliver improved performance over the existing bearing linings that include lead.
James George the head of product technology at MAHLE Rugby, U.K. explained that Polymer technology is the preferred medium for light and medium-duty engines under 10 liters in displacement and that the need to adopt new technology is a direct reflection of the changes in bearing operating conditions accompanied by a prevailing market need for alternative solutions. With the newly released low-viscosity engine oils bearings there is now a need for improvements in wear resistance which in turn will help immensely with fuel economy.
Research conducted by MAHLE shows that the polymer-coated bearings offer increased resistance to both wear and fatigue compared to its lead-free electroplated coating counterparts. That’s not all, the polymeric coatings also improves corrosion resistance, allows for extended oil-drain intervals, are environmentally safe and is much easier to dispose of. Industry testing has conclusively shown that polymer-coated bearings deliver monumentally better post-test wear results and as a direct result will significantly lower owner-operator costs. With production on the new bearing system set to begin this summer at the MAHLE facility in Atlantic, Iowa, the first heavy-duty diesel engines with the polymeric lead-free bearings will be introduced during the second half of 2016 along with an additional product development program to be determined at a later date.