Oil leaks areunacceptable. However, during early testing of superchargers by turbocharger manufacturer IHI Turbo America (ITA), rubber-coated metal (RCM) gaskets permitted oil to seep under high torque. The ultimate solution was Select-a-Seal (SAS) rubber-edged composite (REC) gaskets from Interface Solutions Inc (ISI).
The belt-driven superchargers have three flanged joints; the two most critical joints are near the unit’s belt-drive end. In early tests, ITA used RCM seals, which leaked under high torque.
ISI conducted in-house testing and produced technical reports that addressed ITA’s concerns. Static tests of prototype seals under pressure for 1000 hours were conducted in a four-hour cycle from -40°C to 150°C and back. The gaskets performed well, and ITA agreed to test them further.
ITA’s tests were principally rigorous bearing tests. Engineers ran the prototype turbochargers at top speed, and the Select-a-Seal gaskets did not leak.
Supercharged outboard engines with Select-a-Seal gaskets are already in production providing power, speed and environmental cleanliness in the form of zero leaks. These four-stroke powerhouses are now permitted on some waters where two-stroke engines have been banned for environmental reasons.
Interface Solutions Inc is based Lancaster, PA, USA. www.sealinfo.com