NASHVILLE. As the chemical composition of heavy-duty engine oils undergoes yet another revision due to regulatory pressures and industry demands for improved fuel economy, the filtration systems for those oils are changing as well.
That’s been the impetus for the development of a new version of Cummins Filtration’s Fleetguard LF9080 lube filter; a new design that uses a patented “nanofiber” media originally created for the company’s fuel filters, noted Brad Long, senior engineering technical advisor.
This new lubricant filter designed by Cummins Filtration – being unveiled here at the 2015 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) annual meeting – is specifically designed to handle Proposed Category 11 or PC-11 low viscosity engine oils that are expected to arrive in 2017.
“As the trucking industry shifts toward these new low-viscosity lubricants, lube filtration is also evolving to help better meet the characteristics of the new oil formulations,” noted Long, stressing that today’s truck engines today are being subjected to a wider range of operating conditions and duty cycles.
[For a little history of the Fleetguard brand, watch the video clip below.]
“Properly filtering your engine’s lubricant will help maintain optimal engine life,” he pointed out, adding that as fleets more place more units in “double-duty” service – meaning trucks are operating in both highway and local delivery conditions, significantly expanding uptime usage.
“This is a more demanding duty cycle, with more frequent engine shut down and stop-and-go traffic than ever before, leading to shorter oil lifespan and lower fuel efficiency,” Long explained.
That’s why Cummins Filtration is pairing its patented NanoNet media with its existing StrataPore media to create a new oil filter structure designed to better current and impending engine oil formulations.
“Many characteristics of Fleetguard NanoNet synthetic media used in our fuel filters translate well into lubricant filter applications, including the structural integrity of the media itself,” Long said. “The 100% synthetic, sub-micron polymer design of NanoNet gives the media a robust structure, allowing for maximum contaminant holding capacity over the course of the filter’s service life.”
In the case of the Cummins Filtration’s new oil filter –officially designated the LF14000NN lube filter – the two synthetic media structures work together for improved contaminant holding capacity and particle retention.
The company added that its new LF14000NN lube filter will be recommended for all Cummins ISX15 engines built after January 2010 for optimum lube filtration protection and will be suitable wherever an LF9080 was previously used.
Long also said the new LF14000NN is specifically designed to better manage three critical oil filter tasks: removing contaminants that can damage the engine, holding those contaminants during the recommended service interval, and providing the proper oil flow to engine components without bypassing the filter – especially during cold engine startups when filter restriction is highest.
“Contaminant removal requirements, capacity and cold-flow ability are critical performance attributes of lube filters,” Long point out.
Cold-flow ability represents a filter’s ability to flow cold or higher viscosity oil under a certain amount of restriction, with less restriction equates to better cold-flow ability for the filter, he explained.
Cold operating temperatures and extended service applications are common reasons for oil to thicken which increase the restriction across a filter, he stressed, with the filter itself also causing restriction due to premature plugging, or too tight an efficiency restricting oil flow.
“Highly restrictive lube filters cause the engine’s by-pass valve to open, allowing unfiltered oil to circulate within the engine,” Long said. “While this measure is designed to ensure engine lubrication during extreme conditions, it can cause engine harm if left unaddressed.”
That’s where the new NanoNet media structure of the LF14000NN filter comes into play.
“It enables much higher cold-flow ability while retaining its high efficiency characteristics in filtering lube oil,” Long noted. “This high cold-flow ability means less restriction for faster oil lubrication on cold start up, and lubricating and protecting the vital engine components. Filter efficiency, capacity, and cold-flow ability are all improved.”