In 2011, European legislation mandated the elimination of lead from automotive components, which led Federal-Mogul Powertrain Div. (federalmogul.com) to develop materials that would allow it to offer lead-free bearings. It recently expanded its plant in Sejong City, Korea, to address a growing demand for lead-free bearings for powertrain applications in Asia, as well.
Speaking to how the bearings were developed, Richard Llope, Federal-Mogul’s senior vice president, Bearings, said, “By considering both the substrate and sliding layers, we identified an array of complementary material combinations that have allowed us to provide a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for the entire global engine and transmission market.
Concentrating only on the sliding layers would have produced less capable solutions,
suitable only for certain applications. Our strategy to focus on the development of substrate and sliding layers together and with equal importance has helped us establish an important competitive advantage.”
Eighteen patents have been granted globally to the company for its lead-free bearing developments.
The development lead on the project was its Global Bearing Technology Center in Wiesbaden, Germany.