Tenneco recently displayed lightweight technologies designed to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel economy by helping automakers reduce total vehicle weight. The technologies were featured at the opening of the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), in Detroit’s Corktown historic district. Tenneco is a member of the public-private partnership created in 2014 to develop and deploy advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implement workforce education and training programs.
“As vehicles become increasingly sophisticated, the need for technology solutions that reduce vehicle mass, improve fuel economy and meet emissions targets without compromising vehicle performance become critical for vehicle manufacturers,” said Tim Jackson, executive vice president, technology, strategy and business development for Tenneco. “Tenneco is proud to partner with ALMMII to drive innovation that helps make our products and the vehicles they support, lighter, cleaner and more sustainable.”
Used in acoustic tuning applications and cylinder deactivation applications, Tenneco’s electronically controlled exhaust valves are designed to provide a compact, lightweight and cost-effective solution for precise sound design and noise control in tailpipe applications, as well as adaptive exhaust control in vehicles featuring cylinder deactivation. Use of electronic valves in exhaust system designs also can reduce the mass of the muffler, resulting in total system weight savings, the company says. Most recently, Tenneco’s electrical valve was launched in an acoustic tuning application on the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Balancing an exhaust system’s overall mass and thermal management properties plays an important role in meeting emissions requirements without adding unnecessary weight. Tenneco says that its fabricated manifolds offer weight reduction of up to 50 percent compared with traditional cast manifolds. Test data confirms that fabricated manifolds also can achieve temperature benefits of up to 50 degrees Celsius, which can result in faster catalyst light off and improved overall catalyst efficiency.
Complete Exhaust System
Tenneco says that its systems integration and engineering capabilities enable the company to design complete exhaust systems tailored to meet customers’ requirements for performance and weight. One example is the Ford Focus, for which Tenneco supplies the cold-end emission control systems, resonators, underbody converters, catalysts and diesel particulate filters. In production since 2012, this system incorporates innovations including thin wall tubing, a lightweight spun catalytic converter, hollow rod hangers and aluminum body side mounts.