what's new in: Oil filters

Preparing for the tougher 2007 emissions environment has required extensive laboratory and field-testing programs by both engine oil formulators and oil filter makers.

Preparing for the tougher 2007 emissions environment has required extensive laboratory and field-testing programs by both engine oil formulators and oil filter makers. Kenny Cameron, product manager at FRAM Heavy Duty Filtration, says EPA '07 engines are expected to run hotter and somewhat dirtier due to the increased amount of EGR required to meet the tougher emissions regulations. “This will result in more stress than ever before on the oil and the additives. Because of this, we've been working to be sure that our existing products will be able to meet those tougher conditions.”

In addition, Cameron says FRAM is looking at maintenance solutions that will help fleet managers safely maintain or extend the oil drain intervals on their new trucks. The company has recently upgraded its Wearguard-HD synthetic media to improve efficiency and capacity. The media, he reports, will perform well in the more demanding environment created by the new emissions requirements.

Glenn Griffith, national sales manager at Spinner II Products Division of TF Hudgins, says the primary challenge is managing increased levels of soot. “Filters are constantly being updated and improved to capture soot and other fine particles. However, this leads to another difficulty — capacity. As you begin to capture smaller particles you need to be able to store them.”

Recent innovations to Spinner II products are allowing the company to separate sub-micron particles like soot more efficiently and store up to 50% more capacity. Griffith also notes features added to the Spinner II 900 Series products have helped improve flow dynamics for more efficient particle removal even at lower oil pressures.

Fleetguard offers fleets centrifugal technology and stacked-disk by-pass filtration. Taking combination lube filtration technology a step further, the manufacturer also developed the Venturi Combo filtration system that it says removes up to three times the contaminants as a full-synthetic filter.

Paul Bandoly, manager of technical services and customer training, WIX filters, explains that with the '07 engines running hotter, there is more opportunity for soot to be present in the lubricating oil.

“On the heavy-duty side, by-pass filtration has become more important in meeting the demands of today's high-tech engines because they are more sensitive to smaller contaminants” Bandoly explains.

Full-flow filters, he notes, have limits as to what they can do because the oil must get to the engine. “With a by-pass filter, the fluid that passes through it is not needed for lubrication, so you can slow it down and filter it very efficiently.”

According to Bandoly, the use of patented Spin-Flow technology in the WIX high-capacity/high-efficiency XD line of heavy-duty filters provides a very effective way of getting the oil down to the by-pass section and adds overall cleanliness, performance and efficiency by circulating it through both the full-flow and by-pass sections.

Brent Birch, laboratory manager Champion Labs, says heavy-duty oil filters are becoming uniquely specialized for specific engine applications. “The '07 operating environment,” he notes, “is more severe than the previous emissions tier that began in '02. We are also dealing with the new CJ-4 oil classification that's becoming available this fall.”

“The bottom line is we are continually working to develop and implement improved materials to address changes in oil chemistry and the operating conditions of today's engines,” Birch explains.

For one thing, contaminant-holding capacity has been gradually increasing with each new emissions tier, as the industry strives to maintain reasonable oil drain intervals in high soot-generation conditions. To handle higher oil flow rates and crankcase volumes of the new reduced-emissions engines, Birch reports, filter manufacturers have also had to increase the physical size of oil filters over the past few years. “In addition, we've developed new filter media of composition and technology quite different than previously utilized. These media will be slated for specific applications where the need for extra capacity is indicated.”

Some products available from Luber-finer include a new Roughneck LFP 4005RN filter line for severe-service duty applications using Caterpillar engines. The Roughneck filters feature extra contaminant holding capacity.

For ultra-high performance, the company has a line of Imperial XL heavy-duty lube oil filters for a variety of engine applications. The XL uses a 100% synthetic media to resist high oil temperatures while providing superior efficiency and capacity. Birch says this is accomplished while providing lower cold flow restriction than a conventional design.

On the by-pass filter side, Luber-finer offers the Zgard by-pass filter. Zgard features a proprietary composite filter media for soot and acid control, and is suited for applications using high sulfur fuels, like liquefied petroleum gas and off-road diesel.

Donaldson's Keith Bechtum, liquid filtration product specialist, says his company also proactively monitors every new engine oil classification as it becomes available, like the new CJ-4 formulation for '07 emissions-compliant engines. “We also check for material compatibility with every engine upgrade,” he says.

Donaldson offers Endurance Plus filters, which use a controlled chemical release process to replenish the additives in the engine oil, allowing for extended maintenance intervals, Bechtum explains.

According to Bechtum, the Endurance Plus oil filters were designed specifically for today's emissions-compliant EGR engines, but work well with older engine models as well. They are designed to reduce oil usage by up to 50% in heavy-duty, on-highway applications, he explains.

To remove soot and other contaminant that a full-flow filter cannot, Parker Hannifin combined its Racor LFS Series full-flow filters with the Racor Bypass Oil Filtration System. The system also removes condensed water, which forms damaging acids if it remains in the oil.

Puradyn Filter Technologies says the Puradyn by-pass oil filtration system is designed to continuously filter the lubricating oil by reducing solid contaminants to less than one micron, as well as removing liquid contaminants, therefore maintaining the oil's viscosity and safely extending oil drain intervals.






Champion Laboratories






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