Installation space in a car is a rare commodity. Comfort functions, turbocharging, and much more have significantly reduced the available space in the engine compartment over the past decades. In response to this, the leading global filtration expert MANN+HUMMEL has developed new air filters with flexible external contours that make more efficient use of the available installation space. For the independent automotive aftermarket, they are available as MANN-FILTER Flexline C 26 017 and C 30 030 for the Mercedes-Benz A and B Class. The C 26 017 air filter is for gasoline engines and the C 30 030 is for diesel models. The use of further elements with flexible contours for other automotive manufacturers is planned.
Whereas flat air filters based on rectangular, trapezoidal, and polygonal forms with straight lateral edges were once the dominant design, the MANN-FILTER Flexline also makes efficient use of installation spaces with curved external contours. “We can accommodate a larger filtration area compared with conventional designs, and thus achieve higher separation efficiency and dust holding capacity,” says Daniel Schmid, product developer for Automotive Aftermarket Air Filter Elements at MANN+HUMMEL.
“With Flexline, we produce the air filter contours using state-of-the-art laser technology. This means that we can produce almost any shape that was not possible with the conventional method. With this laser technology, we are setting new standards in filter manufacturing,” emphasizes Schmid. Compared with filters with limited geometries and straight lateral edges, the C 26 017 air filter impresses with features such as 11% more filter surface area, 22% higher dust holding capacity, and 16% lower pressure loss. At the same time, the new Flexline air filters are also flatter than standard products, which means that can be used in particularly low installation spaces.
Mercedes-Benz was the first vehicle manufacturer to use the innovative solution, and is now using it as standard for its MFA2 (Modular Front Architecture) platform. The air filter will therefore be used in almost all four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines from the A and B Class as well as their derivatives in the future.
MANN+HUMMEL has filed several patents for the manufacturing method and the design of the Flexline air filter with the German Patent and Trademark Office as well as in other countries.