American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings has developed a new synthetic 'PowerFilm' lubricant for its driveline systems which, combined with low friction bearings and optimised sliding geometry of the hypoid gear set, is claimed to provide "significantly reduced" axle operating temperatures, along with improved axle efficiency.

Combining these technologies with AAM's 'PowerLite' and 'PowerDense' materials in the design of driveline systems has the potential of reducing the axle operating temperature by as much as 28% and improving axle efficiency by as much as 3% over the conventional axle. This improved efficiency can translate into a 0.3-mpg gain or a 1.9% improvement in fuel economy on full size trucks with a V8 engine, the company claimed.

A spokesman said the new lubricant and driveline systems using it were originally developed for the harsher light truck market and are currently under evaluation by a major vehicle maker which was not named.

However, the new technologies can also be used by AAM's new line of power transfer units and independent rear drive axles to provide similar operating temperature and mpg improvements over conventional PTUs and axles for crossover and rear-wheel-drive passenger vehicles, the company claimed.