How fuel filters impact engine health

How fuel filters impact engine health

Fuel is the lifeblood that runs through the heart of your tractor—the engine—sending power into the truck’s component circulatory system. The key to your equipment’s on-highway heart health lies in the engine getting plenty of exercise as it rolls towards its million-mile goal, and to make sure it’s fed the cleanest diesel fuel possible. The fuel filter plays an important role in ensuring that your engine keeps pumping efficiently. Like all components in today’s trucking environment, fuel filters have evolved to meet the growing needs of today’s hard-working engines.

Wix“Fuel systems have changed and filters have evolved to protect critical components,” explained Donald Chilton, vice president of product management for WIX Filters, which offers more than 500 different fuel SKUs for heavy-duty trucks and equipment. “Cellulose is a filtration standard media and works very well for a lot of applications. As the protection need has increased, the medias have evolved as well. More advanced medias today are multi-layered composites offering efficient performance while stripping water out. Given the pressures at injectors today, water is just as damaging to an injector as actual dirt.”

Tougher emissions regulations have led to engines with high-pressure fuel systems, which require extremely clean diesel fuel and also increase demands on the engine components like fuel filters. Scott Grossbauer, Donaldson Co.’s director of clean fuel solutions, explained:

“The past EPA focus on emissions has driven design changes in engine injection systems that allow for very precise, metered injection of fuel. This gives original equipment manufacturers the opportunity to achieve a better balance of reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency—translating into more miles per gallon. One of the ways injector manufacturers have helped achieve this balance is by increasing fuel injection pressures. To get the precision needed, fuel is being pressurized to 30,000 PSI and higher. Because of these higher injection pressures, the fuel itself has to be cleaner than ever before. Even the smallest particles, down to 1 to 3 microns, can do significant damage to injectors. As a result, the job of the filter becomes even more critical. It needs to provide the highest level of injector protection, while still reaching its expected service interval.”

Fuel cleanliness is extremely important to fuel injector performance and filtration manufacturers have risen to the occasion.

“In the last 20 years, single layer media applications have evolved from simple glass and cellulose construction to multiple layers of synthetic-polymer nano fibers that further improve field life and water removal efficiency in poor quality fuels,” explained Daniel Stibel, Racor’s fuel filtration product manager. “In the last 10 years, there has been a move to coalescer element designs that utilize four or more special layers to break water-fuel emulsions in biodoesel blends and poor quality fuels, which is normally difficult. In the last few years, Racor medias, for example, have been re-engineered to have low formaldehyde content while retaining all the life and performance features expected of the Aquabloc family of medias.”

Fully synthetic, multilayered media is a big step forward in terms of being able to remove the smallest particles of contamination with high efficiency, explained Cindy Hawkins, global product manager for fuel at Cummins Filtration.

Cummins FIlteration Fleetguard“Efficiency is important to understand,” Hawkins began. “For example, let’s target 4-micron particles. If 100,000 particles enter the filter and 1,333 make it through, then the filter’s efficiency is 98.7%—it removes 4-micron-size particles 98.7% of the time. This type of performance is quite good and typical of our previous-generation media.”

Hawkins noted that today’s fuel filter media take filtration efficiency to another level. The NanoNet technology offered by Cummins Filtration, for example, can remove the same 4-micron particles 99.9% of the time. That 1.2% improvement might seem minor, but in reality, it means that of the same 100,000 particles flowing into the filter, only 100 particles make it through the media. A 1.2% improvement in efficiency is actually a 13-times improvement over traditional filtration.

All fuel filter media improvements seek to increase efficiency in removing particulate from fuel, and many filtration manufacturers are looking to performance above and beyond today’s standards.

“New tests show the performance of filters in dynamic conditions that may include vibration, pulsation and flow variation,” said Veli Kalayci, director of engine liquid products for Donaldson Co., which offers its Donaldson Blue filters featuring Synteq XP media to remove four times more contaminant from fuel. “This testing is becoming an important tool to differentiate filter technology and allows customers to make informed decisions on how to protect fuel injection systems. While protection is a key consideration, fuel efficiency is also affected by the condition of injectors, which makes high-quality fuel filtration even more important from an overall cost of ownership standpoint.

Click “Next Page” to continue reading.

You May Also Like

LSI promotes new Hot Shot’s Secret brand manager

Steinmetz will be developing the long-term brand vision and strategy for Hot Shot’s Secret performance.

Lubrication Specialties (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret, recently announced the promotion of Josh Steinmetz to Hot Shot’s Secret brand manager. Since Steinmetz’s employment in 2019, he first worked as digital marketing manager before being promoted to e-commerce and digital marketing manager.

In his capacity as brand manager for the fastest-growing performance lubricant brand in the US, Steinmetz will be developing and defining the long-term brand vision and strategy for Hot Shot’s Secret performance and preventative maintenance additives, oils and fluids. He will direct the brand’s messaging, goals and promise and will develop the best go-to-market strategy to ensure market share and sales. As brand manager, he will oversee all brand messaging, packaging, and media buys, and provide valuable input on new product development for diverse markets.

Alta eMobility to service, distribute BorgWarner DC fast chargers

Alta eMobility customers interested in DCFCs can contact Alta eMobility directly for charger installation.

Bridgestone on pace to achieve record YOY Bandag growth

Retreading is an important solution fleets are incorporating into their tire programs that not only extends the life of tires, but helps reduce environmental impact.

HERE Technologies offers brand-specific search

This new capability is a further step in enabling HERE customers and partners to deliver differentiated services.

Goodyear, Gatik demonstrate accurate tire-road friction potential estimate

The breakthrough will add more utility to what a tire can deliver by providing critical data that can help enhance vehicle safety.

Other Posts

Auto Value, Bumper to Bumper and All-Pro Truck Parts highlight Alliance Commercial Vehicle and Heavy-duty Program at HDAW

The Alliance looks toward continued growth in the medium- and heavy-duty aftermarket.

autovalue-1400
Photo Gallery: Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2023

A pictorial walk-around of the show floor.

welcome-to-hdaw-1400
Dayco expands heavy-duty diesel engine belt kit line

Six new SKUs join the 40-plus that Dayco has recently added.

Dayco-HD-HDAW-1400
Cummins-Meritor talks acquisition impact, aftermarket support

Here’s how the brands come together and do business in the market.

Cummins-Meritor-Alan-Rabadi-1400