NTN says it has secured an order to mass produce the Low Torque Seal Ring developed for use on transmissions from several unnamed automotive manufacturers and suppliers.

Four to 10 seal rings are installed on a single transmission between the shaft and housing, which move in relative motion within the oil hydraulic circuits. The seal rings serve to seal the oil as they slide.

Since friction occurs when they slide, it has become an issue for the seal rings to be made low torque as one of the parts which affects fuel efficiency.

"The Low Torque Seal Ring for which we received the current mass production order - it is an injection moulded part of width 1.5mm and outer diameter of 15mm to 60mm - is made from PEEK (polyether ether ketone) plastic featuring a special filler," said an NTN statement.

"By forming a V-shaped lubrication groove on the side surface that slides and moves, oil is supplied by the dynamic pressure effect and achieves a low torque that is 60% lower compared to NTN's conventional products.

"In terms of its seal characteristics, while maintaining the same performance, the amount of wear on the seal ring is 1/10th or less compared to conventional products due to it being low torque."

NTN added in order to increase energy transfer efficiency, multi-staged automotive transmissions which have many gear stages are increasing and there is a tendency to also increase the number of seal rings in use within automotive transmissions.