New piston skirt coatings from Federal-Mogul

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Federal-Mogul Powertrain, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, has introduced two new piston skirt coatings, EcoTough-New Generation (for gasoline engines) and EcoTough-D (for diesel engines). Building on the performance of previous EcoTough coatings, the new formulations further reduce engine friction, wear and noise while dealing with the increasingly challenging loads and temperatures that exist in the latest downsized, turbocharged engines.

“Reducing frictional losses by applying materials expertise is a critical element of Federal-Mogul Powertrain’s work with engine manufacturers,” commented Gian Maria Olivetti, chief technology officer, Federal-Mogul Powertrain. “Our new EcoTough piston skirt coatings have the increased durability necessary to perform for the life of the piston under the greater thermal and mechanical loads created by the latest generation of highly efficient engines.”

EcoTough-New Generation coating is a metal oxide-reinforced resin with additional embedded solid lubricant particles. The coating, which is applied in a thickness of 15 microns, reduces skirt wear in gasoline engines by up to 40% compared with the market standard and offers significantly improved fatigue strength under extremely harsh conditions. It also delivers piston friction reduction gains of up to 15% compared with standard coatings, directly improving the efficiency of the base engine.

Following extensive rig testing and engine-based development, sample pistons with the EcoTough-New Generation coating are currently completing validation programmes with vehicle manufacturers.

EcoTough-D has been developed for both aluminium and steel diesel pistons, in passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Taking advantage of the greater structural stiffness of diesel pistons and the superior lubricity of diesel fuel, Federal-Mogul Powertrain was able to specify a different formulation and deliver even greater improvement in friction levels. A polymer-based coating reinforced with short carbon fibres and containing graphite embedded as a solid lubricant, EcoTough-D reduces piston friction by as much as 35% compared with conventional coatings in the market. Wear resistance is also improved by up to 30%.

“The piston skirt and piston pin alone account for around 17% of the frictional losses in an engine,” said Dr Frank TH Dörnenburg, head of technology, Global Pistons at Federal-Mogul Powertrain. “Skirt coatings have proved to be an effective way of meeting the interrelated targets of reduced friction and wear between piston skirt and cylinder surfaces, used in combination with optimum piston clearance and skirt geometry. Application of the piston skirt coatings using a fully automated, large-scale production process means that the excellent wear and friction properties can be achieved within economical cost targets.”

April 1, 2016

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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