129 innovations

Hybrid Nylon/Aluminum Modular Oil Pan

There's no doubt that the easy automotive applications are long gone and those that are left require equal measures of clever engineering and focused materials development. Such is the case with a new hybrid plastic/metal modular oil pan produced by Bruss that has replaced an all-diecast-aluminum system on Daimler AG's '08MY Mercedes C-Class 4-cylinder diesel sedan.

The system consists of two main components: an upper diecast aluminum shell and a lower injection-molded, glass-reinforced nylon 6/6 shell (material from DuPont Automotive). The multifunctional lower shell has a rear sump section and a low-profile front zone with an integrated windage tray.

The rear sump features an integrated oil-baffle system constructed of tall ribs that reduce sloshing, direct oil to prevent oil pump starvation, and provide requisite stiffness to handle 6.0 liters/6.3 quarts of oil. Brass inserts molded into the oil-sump section accommodate both the oil-discharge screw and oil-level switch.

The front section of the oil pan is flatter, with shorter walls to accommodate tight packaging space around the suspension system. Since this low-profile design has less stiffness, it was reinforced with the addition of a multifunctional windage tray molded of the same material and vibration welded in place. This helps ensure a good seal to the aluminum upper shell without adding significant weight or height to the design. The windage tray's unique design also provides a scraping action to remove horse-power robbing oil entrained in the crankshaft windage, and then directs the lubricant back into the oil pan. Reducing oil vapor around the crankshaft improves horsepower by 5% while also reducing air entrapment in the oil and decreasing friction for longer bearing life.

Source: omnexus.comAdded: 24 August 2009