Vehicles that easily rack up more than a thousand miles per gallon of fuel are not the stuff of automotive dreams. They will actually take to the roads during the 2015 SAE Supermileage Competition. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK) has announced it will once again support the college students who are designing these single-passenger wonders with custom seals and engineering resources.
For a third year, Freudenberg-NOK will support the Supermileage event as both a Gold Sponsor and a component supplier. The company has engineered a new series of custom Energy Saving Seals (ESS) to fit the latest Briggs & Stratton engine that the students use to power their Supermileage cars.
The seals, part of the company’s Low Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) portfolio, are custom-designed to fit the crankshaft on the small four-cycle engine. While the single-occupant vehicles that the students design are much smaller than the cars and trucks navigating today’s highways, global automotive manufacturers are also intensively focused on improving fuel economy and lowering vehicle emissions.
“Supermileage is a prime example of what the auto industry is pursuing,” said Luis Lorenzo, senior vice president, Technology and Innovation, Freudenberg-NOK. “These students are attempting to set a fuel economy record using the most innovative designs and technology possible. We are excited to be involved in the competition again and help students in achieving their goals.”
In last year’s competition, the company supplied the ESS seals that reduced friction by 57 percent. Because a newer engine model will be used by students in the 2015 competition, Freudenberg-NOK will design and produce new ESS seals to fit the updated single cylinder engine.
“We’re actively pursuing trends like light weighting and fuel saving technologies,” Lorenzo added. “Supermileage allows our company to work on these major automotive industry challenges with some of the most intelligent up-and-coming engineers in the field.”
In addition to providing friction-reducing seals, the company will sponsor two students and their vehicle from the top-performing team that uses the seals at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars (CAR MBS) in August. In the 2014 competition, that team was Concordia University from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which received the Endurance Award for achieving the highest average fuel economy with at least five complete runs.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in the CAR MBS Student Program with all expenses paid.
“Freudenberg-NOK gave us the opportunity to be able to start a relationship with the auto industry’s leaders and build our network,” said Alex Laroche, Concordia University engineering student and participant at the 2014 CAR MBS. “The week’s worth of insight into innovations and the current priorities of auto manufacturers and OEMs showed us the true potential of an engineering career in Michigan. We also received publicity after having been featured in Freudenberg’s interview with Autoline.tv, which was appreciated by our university, association and the rest of our sponsors.”
SAE International’s Supermileage Competition takes place June 4-5 at Eaton Corp.’s proving grounds in Marshall, Mich.