Since the early 1990’s, Gates has been manufacturing hot oil belt drives for industrial application on generators, lawn mowers and water pumps. This technology has progressed to allow the systems to be used in automotive engines, driving both camshaft, crankshaft and oil pump drives, replacing the traditional chain drive systems.
Gates works in close cooperation with the automotive OE manufacturers on various projects. The latest compact engines take up less space and weigh significantly less than previous engines. Compact engines in the future will be much smaller. Indeed, a production engine in service with hot oil belt technology has a footprint no larger than an A4 sheet of paper.
In 2008, Ford altered their crank to fuel pump design on the 1.8 Litre Common Rail diesel engine from a chain and sprocket to a belt in oil system (BIO) or hot oil belt system. Since then, this has been followed by further crank/cam applications at Ford on their 1.0 three cylinder Eco boost engine, PSA 3 cylinder EB series engine and also applications driving oil pumps on VW 1.6 & 2.0 Litre TDI common rail diesel engines.
Gates’ latest hot oil wet belt construction exceeds the durability of current known hot oil market application serial production belt. The belt has to withstand a continuous assault by all the different types of oils and additives that can be used in engines in a wide range of operating conditions, temperatures and different environments all over the world. The properties of the belts must be able to withstand the worst case scenario. A mapping exercise has been looking at all chemicals and chemistry changes that happen in engine oil throughout its life and how they effect on belt materials and physical properties.
All of the materials have been statically tested at elevated temperatures up to +1500C or maximum dependent on chemical boiling point for set periods of time. The belts properties have then been measured and rated to understand the damage caused on the belt sub components. The worst chemical at different concentration levels have then been utilized in dynamic rigs where Gates tests to validate our system component against OE prescriptions.