The story of Pressurfect™

Today, the hunt is on for smarter engine technologies that minimize fuel consumption, reduce CO2 emissions and still provide plenty of power. And while each car company has its own roadmap towards "sustainable mobility", it is clear that the internal combustion engine will be around for some time. One way to get a leaner burn with good power is to use gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology.

500,000 GDI engines on the road

Already in use by Ford, Hyundai, GM and others, GDI technology is helping reduce fuel consumption by 20% or more while still producing excellent power output and lowering emissions. However, achieving this has meant a doubling of pressure in the fuel system every year, with some predicting an increase of 20-30 times today's levels – up to 250 bar/25 MPa. High-pressure GDI fuel systems are now used in more than 500,000 GDI engines on the road, including the Ford EcoBoost engine series.

Power output and fuel efficiency

This is precisely why we developed a new tube product and called it Pressurfect™. The idea was to offer automotive companies and their suppliers a seamless stainless tube for GDI fuel systems that was stronger than other welded and lower grades. Many of our customers expressed a need for a stronger, safer and lighter product for tomorrow's fuel systems – one that would reduce the risk of corrosion pitting or cracking. It should also be easy to machine and braze.

Combating corrosive ethanol

The growing use of corrosive ethanol blends at higher pressure in the fuel systems is another driver behind Sandvik's quest to develop superior materials for the engine-makers. The goal was to develop a strong, corrosion-resistant material that could handle higher pressures with zero risk of cracking or fissures – enabling further reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Two types of GDI material

Based on these needs, we developed a new seamless tube material which will be available in two grades: standard Pressurfect™, an austenitic chromium-nickel steel for fuel rails and fuel lines; and Pressurfect™ XP, a duplex for demanding fuel rail applications. For details, see our product specifications.