MAHLE Engine Components, a leading German automotive supplier, has designed a new lead-free bearing system for the newly developed engine for heavy-duty trucks. This system principle is the combination of engineering polymer coating and lead-free bearing to achieve the desired effect. According to experimental data show that this system is better than some other bearings.
The first heavy-duty diesel engine using the new lead-free bearing system is also expected to be on display at the beginning of this year while two other major engine manufacturers are already developing product development programs for other areas. The production of lead-free weekly bearing systems is also starting production at the Atlantic plant this summer.
However, the company’s research also shows that MAHLE polymer coated bearings are more wear-resistant and fatigue-resistant than other lead-plated bearings that are electroplated. Improved wear resistance helps engine manufacturers adapt to low-viscosity engine oils, which has an important role in fuel economy. And the company’s customer tests on polymer-coated bearings also showed better performance than alternatives to electroplating.
Polymer technology is very mature in the light and medium markets for engines with displacements of up to 10 liters, “says MAHLE personnel:” Heavy-duty markets require alternatives.
Other benefits of the new MAHLE system include improved corrosion resistance and extended drain interval. In addition to performance improvements, lead-free bearings are environmentally friendly as they are safer and easier to handle. The company also said that its lead-free, polymer-coated bearing system will significantly reduce the cost savings for owners and operators.
The new bearing system provides a very good combination of cast bronze bearing technology with polymer cover, high load capacity, as well as jamming and wear resistance.