Bronkhorst

Use of mass flow meters in the automotive industry

July 9, 2019 Marlies Slütter

The automotive industry is the biggest industry in the world. Some quick facts:

  • Approximately 99 million motor vehicles are produced per year (source: European Automobile Manufacturers Association). 
  • The world’s largest car-producing countries are China, Japan, Germany, India and South Korea (2017). 
  • There is a large discrepancy in the average annual distance travelled by car between countries. In the US, this figure is around 21,500 km/year. In Europe, the average is 12,000 km/year (source: Odyssee). 
  • On average, a car has 30,000 parts (source: Netstar).
A lot of people go to their work and on holiday by car. I do as well. I use my car every day, but while driving to Ruurlo, I had never realised that the flow meters which we develop have been used to produce my car. Did you? Inspired by that realisation, I discovered that our flow meters play a role in a lot of applications in the automotive industry; probably not in all 30,000 parts, but for sure in some of them. I have therefore collected three interesting applications of flow meters in the automotive industry to share with you.

afbeelding
afbeelding

1. Accurate dosing of release agent

In its automotive department, a major company manufactures ‘skin’ that covers a car's dashboard to give it a ‘leather look’. This skin is produced by spraying liquid, coloured polyurethane into a nickel mould. To allow easy skin release from the mould without any damage, an external release agent has to be applied onto the mould surface prior to spraying the polyurethane. Bronkhorst was requested to supply a suitable mass flow controller in order to dose this release agent.

Application note A075-GP03

2. Valve seat testing

Valve manufacturers check any metal-to-metal valve seats using pressure degradation methods. Since the new generation of car engines are running on higher pressures, the manufacturers are in need of new methods for leak testing to keep up with customer needs. Recently, Bronkhorst has been successfully involved with manufacturers of valves and valve seat testing machines to implement low-flow measurement as an alternative method for a better performance.

Application note A056-GP03
afbeelding
Convergence

3. Simulation of exhaust gas to test lambda probe

Each modern car with a combustion engine has a self-controlling way to optimise engine performance. A lambda probe, a sensor positioned in the exhaust section of the car, measures the oxygen content of the car exhaust gases. This oxygen content, the ‘lambda value’, is a measure for the effectiveness of the combustion process in a car’s engine. The research department of a car producer needs to test the performance of these lambda probes with several exhaust gas compositions. To this end, they built an artificial exhaust line in which they do not use real exhaust gas but simulate the composition of car exhaust gases. They asked Bronkhorst to deliver mass flow controllers for this purpose.

Application note A069-GP03

Renewable energy in the automotive industry

Next to these applications at car manufacturers (or suppliers to the automotive industry), Bronkhorst instruments are also used by universities that join competitions or are doing research into renewable fuel sources for the automotive industry. For example, Green Team Twente is trying to build the most efficient hydrogen car. In this blog, they tell more about their research.

Still waiting to buy a hydrogen car?
afbeelding

In addition, Solar Team Twente participates in the World Solar Challenge every two years. Participating teams are challenged to design a car that drives 3,000 kilometers from North to South Australia in a maximum of six days, purely on solar energy. Bronkhorst sponsors this team. Read more in our news article.

Solar Team Twente: We believe in the power of the sun
afbeelding

A third renewable energy source being researched is formic acid (Hydrozine). In her blog, Lotte Pleging of Team FAST explains why they believe in formic acid (HCOOH) as a suitable candidate to replace fossil fuels and what the role of the Bronkhorst thermal mass flow meters is in the process of generating this renewable fuel. Read more below.

Will Hydrozine replace fossil fuels?


Bronkhorst High-Tech B.V.

Nijverheidsstraat 1A
NL-7261 AK Ruurlo (NL)
Tel. +31 573 45 88 00
[email protected]

Copyright © 2019 Bronkhorst. All rights reserved.     Sitemap     Disclaimer     Privacy note