Power management company Eaton has introduced its next-generation sodium-filled hollow-head valves, which the company said improves fuel economy, reduces emissions, and increases performance in petrol-powered engines. The valves feature a unique design that lowers the cylinder chamber temperature while mitigating engine knock.
Unlike traditional hollow valves, the head portion of the new valves is composed of two separate sections that are welded together during the production process. This enables higher flexibility in the sodium cavity design, increasing volume and assuring optimal sodium flow. Eaton said the welding design and its tested technology ensure the valves comply with the most demanding industry validation targets.
“The new generation of Eaton valves represents the next step in valve evolution and will provide solutions customers are asking for,” said Pawel Wolski, Business Unit Director, Valvetrain, Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “Eaton continues to provide solutions to its customers as vehicle emissions become increasingly stringent.”
Eaton said that as international emission standards for vehicles tighten, it has led to new homologation cycles and the limiting of emissions worldwide. In the near future, regulations on fuel consumption are expected to be even more demanding, forcing manufacturers to design engines with higher air-to-fuel ratios or reconfigure the entire engine calibration map.
The new valves have the capability to cool down the combustion face and, therefore, the chamber temperature, which increases the spark advance and air-to-fuel ratio as the engine is less inclined to knock. As a result, the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) can be increased and emissions reduced.
The new valves have undergone several tests for durability and performance, including:
- Welding fatigue
- Overspeed durability
- Abusive dynamic durability
- Full-power/full-load durability
- Thermometric analysis
- Knock limit characterisation
- Brake specific fuel consumption measurement
Eaton said its next-generation sodium-filled hollow-head valves are being evaluated by several global automakers, with start of production scheduled for 2023.