The better utilization of automobile installation space has a number of different advantages, particularly higher filtration performance thanks to better dust holding capacity, also reduced pressure loss and enhanced acoustics.
- A curved filter design allows for a larger filtration surface in the installation space.
- Additional flexibility leads to improvements in the entire air cleaner system.
Installation space in a car is a rare commodity. Comfort functions, turbocharging and multiple turbocharging, and much more have drastically reduced available installation space over the past decades. This has resulted in designers and engineers now having to haggle over a matter of millimeters of space. To tackle this issue, filter specialist MANN+HUMMEL has developed Flexline, a new generation of air filters which utilizes installation space with even greater efficiency thanks to the enhanced flexibility of its external contours. The result is a compact, performance-enhanced filter with a variable design according to the installation space specification. Laser cutting makes it all possible. It is also possible, for example, to relocate the clamping elements (such as clips or screws) to the inside of the air cleaner system in order to reduce the external contours and avoid collisions with other elements in the installation space.
An innovative filter element and housing go hand in hand, as the much more flexible geometry fits into the available installation space of the engine compartment. Whereas flat air filters based on rectangular, trapezoidal and polygonal forms with straight lateral edges were once the dominant design, Flexline can make maximum use of installation spaces thanks to its curved external contours. Unlike conventional designs, Flexline components therefore have a larger flow surface. This provides new scope for development to achieve targeted improvements in the filtration characteristics or pressure loss.
With an innovative sealing profile, Flexline elements are also flatter than standard products. On the one hand, this facilitates a flatter housing. On the other, the gain in installation space can be utilized to increase the pleat height.
In short, the filtration surface is increased compared with a conventional filter which has limited geometries and straight lateral edges. An increased filtration surface thanks to the larger flow surface and an increase in the pleat height due to the new and compactly installed sealing profile all result in a longer service life and better filtration performance.
More freedom for development with Flexline
In principle, Flexline increases filtration surface and pleat distance. One or the other as well as a combination of both development strategies are possible here. A larger filtration area increases dust holding capacity whilst simultaneously reducing pressure loss. The other development approach, namely to increase pleat distance, leads to a significantly improved pressure loss reduction with the same service life.
The Flexline concept offers one further advantage in terms of optimization of the intake system acoustics. The acoustics, in other words minimization of undesirable noises, are improved by an increased air filter housing volume. In addition, the resulting larger housing cross section offers additional potential for further reduction of the noise occurring in the intake system.
Flexline is the new best-in-class solution for complex installation spaces, in particular for extremely flat geometries. The height reduction is enabled by the new sealing profile. Whichever form the Flexline ultimately assumes will depend on the customer-specific installation space requirements of the respective vehicle architecture.