How polyamide oil filters have to withstand extreme test conditions

  • Mahle oil filters get tested in Solvay’s part testing center
  • Customized test benches for the automotive industry

Reliable oil management is critical in modern automotive engineering and must ensure that lubricants are properly supplied, cleaned and thermally managed. In order to meet these requirements, the company Mahle, a leading supplier of complex oil filter modules, cooperates with Solvay Engineering Plastics not only on the material side, but also when it comes to testing.

Part testing as an essential role in validating oil modules

Technyl polyamide compounds from Solvay are used on more than 15 different Mahle oil modules, today. All of them underwent rigorous testing including long-term ageing resistance in glycol flow according to major OEM specifications and were fully validated in close collaboration with the customer. According to Ralf Kiemlen, Head of Development Oil Filtration Systems at Mahle Filtersysteme GmbH, Solvay’s part testing laboratory plays an essential role in validating the modules’ required in-use performance.

oil filter element from Mahle

Oil filter element from Mahle moulded in Technyl resin from Solvay (source: Mahle)

High flow glycol and oil circulation tests at 135°C and high pressure

Most of Solvay’s bench tests are developed in close cooperation with OEMs and major automotive system suppliers. The current glycol flow test benches at the company’s Technyl Innovation Centre in Lyon, France, are capable of testing as many as six parts at a time in temperatures of up to 135°C and with oil under static pressure.

Solvay is continuously expanding its part testing capabilities in order to cover even more aspects raised by leading OEMs and to develop more efficient thermal management components. In February 2015, the company will be able to manage two flows of media simultaneously, at 150°C with pulsated pressure of up to 10 bar on the glycol side and 16 bar on the oil side.

Part testing facilities at Solvay

Part testing facilities at Solvay’s Technyl Innovation Centre in Lyon, France (source: Solvay)

Mandatory: vibration & dynamic tensile testing

In addition, and mandatory not just for oil modules, the company also offers vibration testing indedicated shaker equipment furnished with a thermal chamber for temperatures ranging from -35°C to +180°C and capable of test frequencies from 5 to 2.000 Hz. Other available equipment includes a dynamic tensile device for final part testing with a load up to 30kN and hot air pulsated pressure bench reaching air temperaturesof up to 220°C.


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