The requirement to reduce diesel engine emissions in order to comply with impending government emission regulations is driving a surge in the development of new engines and fuel systems.† In addition, the high cost of petroleum based diesel fuels is driving more development of bio-fuels.† These development activities require a high level of testing and validation for the engines, fuel systems, fuel pumps and alternative fuels.†
Haldex Hydraulic Systems Division is a leading supplier of fuel transfer pumps to the global diesel engine market.† Haldex has opened a new fuel pump test laboratory at its Rockford, Illinois, manufacturing facility to augment its customer’s development efforts.†† The laboratory is one of only 6 such laboratories in the country.†
Many of the new diesel fuels exhibit very low lubricity when exposed to the high operating temperatures of today’s engines.† Operating in low lubricity fuels creates the potential for excessive wear and premature failure of pumps and other fuel system components.† These low lubricity conditions can not be emulated with traditional test stands and standard calibration fluids.† Testing must be done with actual fuels at high temperature.† “Most companies are not equipped to do this type of testing due to the unique safety and environmental protection features required of a laboratory testing fuel at high temperatures.” stated Greg Vassmer, Haldex Vice President of Engineering.† ††††
The Haldex laboratory is unique in that it enables pump testing with either petroleum based or bio-fuels above the flash point of the fuel.† †It provides a non-oxygen test environment which is free of any ignition source.† Safety and security systems include controlled access to the facility, localized fire suppression, fire alarm direct to the fire department, door interlocks and a backup digital radio communication system.† Environmental protection features include special cooling and spill containment systems.† †††
The laboratory includes 4 stations and can accommodate any combination of steady state and cycling conditions.† It allows for cycling the outlet pressure, the input speed or any combination of both.† Data acquisition is integral to each station.†
Vassmer added, “while this laboratory will be primarily utilized to support internal development, it will also be made available, on a fee basis, to other companies that have a need for this type of unique test capability”.