Removing Contamination from Closed Loop Hydro-Mechanical Systems

Request Number REQ7296474
Due Date January 15, 2016
Author Nick Kacsandi
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Removing Contamination from Closed Loop Hydro-Mechanical Systems
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a Global Manufacturer of Automotive Components, invites proposals for technologies to reliably separate downstream contaminants out of automotive oils at the point of use. Ideal solutions will permanently remove and isolate one or more contaminants – including but not limited to dirt, fibers, organics, metals, and air bubbles – upon system startup without altering the performance characteristics of the oil itself.


Evolving fuel economy requirements are driving increasingly stringent operational specifications for automotive systems. Of primary concern in common closed system, oil-containing hardware (such as transmissions, torque converters, axles, etc.) are issues related to external contaminants in the oil itself.  Traditionally, these contaminants are byproducts from manufacturing, shipping or assembly (dust, dirt, metals, fibers, and air bubbles) the presence of which can cause myriad functional issues ranging from jammed valves to corrosion to shorting of electrical components. Furthermore, wear debris generated during the operation of these systems can have a detrimental effect on the long term durability of these elements.


NineSigma’s client currently employs a range of advanced washing and quality assurance measures to minimize the contamination profile of their components at the end use. However, it is impossible to guarantee a “totally clean” product owing to variables in the supply chain beyond their control. To circumvent the issue, novel technologies are sought that can reliably eliminate residual contamination from within the system itself during the first 10-minutes of its operating life. Solutions that provide additional benefits or contamination-control capabilities beyond this first 10 minutes are of also of significant interest.


It should be noted that to date traditional combinations of standard mechanical filtration and magnetic technologies have proven to be ineffective at the point of operation if the aforementioned components are not first rigorously cleaned. Even at optimal performance, novel separation mechanisms are still required to resolve this technical need. The client believes that novel solutions may exist from applications outside of the automotive space. As such, proposals are invited from potential partners across the spectrum of industry, academia, and research.



Key Success Criteria

The successful technology must:

  • Remove one or more of the following possible contaminants:
    • Dirt and abrasive media
    • Metallics (Steel, Al alloy)
    • Organics (Sodium, Carbon/Soot, other detergents and rust preventatives)
    • Fibers (Carbon, cotton, cellulose)
    • Plastics
    • Air bubbles
    • Other particulate matter in a size range from 10-1000 microns
  • Remove contamination from the fluid upon initial start-up
  • Reliably contain / sequester the contaminant(s) for the life of the system
    • Operating life: >5 years
    • 300,000 engine/system start cycles
      • Equal to >150,000 miles of use

Additionally, top rated solutions will address one or more of the following performance characteristics:

  • Be compatible with existing system architecture or power sources
    • Add-on or retro-fit solutions with a minimum of implementation effort are desired if possible
  • Have no deleterious impact on necessary elements suspended in oil, particularly friction modifiers, EP additives, and anti-foaming agents:
    • Size: Up to 4 microns
  • Be compatible with or adaptable to standard operating environments:
    • Temperature: -40F to 140F
    • External pressures are atmospheric
    • Internal pressure is dependent upon application/installation
      • Up to 5 bar on suction side of pump
    • Material compatibility with transmission fluids and engine oils
  • Not require periodic maintenance or replacement of the component
  • Be cost effective at mass-production automotive volumes



Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovative electrostatic filtration systems
  • Novel solutions that improve upon current state of the art in mechanical filtration
  • Mechanical de-aeration systems
  • Coatings or surface treatments that act as an active filter within the system
  • Innovative solutions with existing proof of concept in adjacent or related industrial applications.



Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Standard filtration technologies or proposals describing only new filter media
  • Direct modifications to the oil or oil additive chemistry (anti-aerators, anti-foaming, etc.)
  • Modifications or surface treatments focusing on corrosion inhibition


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Contract Analysis and Testing
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
Items to be submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
  • Compatibility of the proposed solution with the requirements outlined in the “Key Success Criteria” section above.
  • Discussion of how to resolve unmet Success Criteria.
  • Performance data, if available and applicable
  • Budget / Cost information, if available
  • Team / Organization description
  • Relevant expertise, experience or background related to the RFP topic area
  • Desired relationship with the RFP sponsor
  • Any additional supplemental literature in support of the items outlined above


Area of Interest
Request Priority
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