Turbocharger innovation: small changes that make a powerful difference
Oil leakage of a turbocharger is a failure mode which can lead to reductions in performance, oil consumption, and emission non-compliance. Cummins' latest oil sealing innovation reduces these risks through the development of a more robust sealing system which compliments other leading innovations developed for Holset® turbochargers.
The redefining oil sealing technology from Cummins Turbo Technologies (CTT) celebrates nine months of being available to market. The revolutionary technology, currently undergoing international patent application, is suitable for applications across on-highway and off-highway markets.
Unveiled in September 2019 at the 24th Supercharging Conference in Dresden in the whitepaper, "Development of an Improved Turbocharger Dynamic Seal," the technology was developed through Cummins research and development (R&D) and was pioneered by Matthew Purdey, group leader in Subsystems Engineering at CTT.
The research came in response to customers demanding smaller engines with greater power density, along with lower emissions, and the turbocharger remained one of the most critical components on a vehicle driveline. Due to this, Cummins has continuously remained dedicated to delivering excellence to customers through continually exploring innovative ways to improve turbocharger performance and by considering improvements which affect durability, as well as performance and emission benefits. This new technology further enhances the oil sealing capability to offer a wide range of benefits to customers.
What are the benefits of the new oil sealing technology?
The new sealing technology for Holset® turbochargers allows turbo down speeding, downsizing, oil leakage prevention on two-stage systems and enables CO2 and NOx reductions for other technologies. The technology has also improved thermal management and reliability of the turbocharger. In addition, due to its robustness, it has positively affected the frequency of maintenance of a diesel engine.
Other key elements were also taken into consideration when the sealing technology was in the research and development stages. These include allowing for optimisation of the compressor stage diffuser and a drive for closer integration between the aftertreatment and turbocharger, an integration which has already been subject to significant R&D from Cummins and forms a significant part of the Integrated System concept.
What experience does Cummins have with this type of research?
Cummins has more than 60 years of experience developing Holset turbochargers and uses in-house testing facilities to conduct stringent testing and repetitive analysis on new products and technologies.
“Multi-phase Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to model the oil behavior in the seal system. This led to a much deeper understanding of the oil/gas interaction and physics at play. This deeper understanding influenced design improvements to deliver the new sealing technology with unmatched performance,” said Matt Franklin, Director – Product Management & Marketing.
Due to this rigorous testing regimen, the final product exceeded the seal capability by five times the projects initial target.
What further research should customers expect to see from Cummins Turbo Technologies?
The continued investment in research and development for diesel turbo technologies is ongoing and demonstrates Cummins’ commitment to delivering industry leading diesel solutions across the on-highway and off-highway market.
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