Highly functional materials and manufacturing technologies for automotive oil seals

Technology overview: Automotive oil seals, mechanical elements of sealing the oil used for lubrication and drive, are considered a key part that prevents oil leakage or dust collection, and the life of a machine is largely dependent on sealing.

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In general, oil seals are applied to steering, suspension, engine, transmission, and bearing units of a vehicle, and the technology has improved the range of available temperatures for oil seals and reduced abrasion compared to the existing products, reduced weight of a car and part costs through integration of the oil sealing unit and counterpart, increased durability and life by applying engineering plastic materials to the sealing parts, and provided the oil seal module for sensing revolutions per minute by using hybrid materials of rubber and metal.
In addition, automation specific to oil seal parts and fool proof design ensured low costs and reliable quality. While there is no domestic technology for automotive oil seals, the company has successfully developed proprietary products which are currently supplied to Hyundai, Kia, Mando, ZF, Schaeffler, Chinese and Iranian OEM and parts manufacturers, gradually increasing sales from export and market share.

Industrialization: Previously, most oil seals in the domestic market were produced by joint ventures with Japan or Europe or imported from overseas manufacturers but the company has laid foundation for localization of the parts, first targeting the domestic market, and is gradually increasing exports as well. The company’s major strategy was to reduce royalties by independently developing the rubber materials for oil seals, offer diverse specifications, reduce field claims, and improve product quality.
Initially, the oil seal for steering and suspension units and bearing seal for a drive unit were promoted and supplied to finished automobile manufactures and assembly OEM in the domestic market along with CKD parts suppliers. At present, strategic partnership is under way with major parts manufacturers in the global market.

Problem-solving in industrialization: The oil seal market is dominated by a small number of global companies and it is extremely difficult for a latecomer to enter the market. In these circumstances, the company has first developed an oil seal used for a finished car comparable to the product of a major brand. By developing rubber materials for an oil seal, shapes, and manufacturing technologies, the company could secure proprietary technologies for an automotive oil seal whose performance corresponds to that of a major brand.
Particularly, the part material decides the life and performance of an oil seal, and thus the proprietary composition of the materials was considered to largely influence the future success. An optimized shape was developed through a variety of lab tests and simulation processes as well. In addition to the optimal shape, manufacturing technologies play a critical role in improving performance and life of the product also. Going through these development processes, the company has finally completed technologies related with shape design, adhesion, composition, and forming, and then obtained approval and performance certification for the developed part from finished car and global parts manufacturers.

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