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As Materials Evolve, Freudenberg-NOK Helps Manufacturing Customers Tackle Escalating Compatibility Issues

PLYMOUTH, Mich., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil spots on the driveway are largely a thing of the past, thanks to advanced elastomeric sealing materials.

But changes in powertrain technology, lubricants, durability standards and consumer expectations are driving new compatibility requirements in today's cars and trucks, and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK) is at the forefront of helping its customers navigate this evolving material landscape.

Two Freudenberg-NOK materials experts will participate in 2013's SAE World Congress April 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich., and discuss the challenges associated with today's advanced industrial materials. Dr. Sai Sundararaman, scientist specialist, Technology, will present the results of an organizational study evaluating the effects of temperature on material wear. Joseph Walker, director of Material Development and Chemical Regulatory Compliance for the Americas, will discuss emerging material compatibility issues during a roundtable forum with industry experts.

"Advances in vehicle technology have made material compatibility absolutely key today," Walker said. "Rubber component manufactures incur risk every time their materials are subjected to new fluids. Compatibility is really about management of risk. In fact, the very definition of 'compatibility' needs to be challenged since it is dependent upon application and design and is about functional intent. It's no longer about standard evaluation methods."

Indeed, standard materials compatibility testing – the "dip and dunk" process of emerging components in lubricants to analyze how their properties may respond over time – are no longer robust given today's advanced powertrains and transmissions that pack smaller spaces with electric motors and multiple gear packs and clutches. New axle technology – the result of rising consumer preferences for all wheel drive vehicles – also present harsh new material challenges.

"The enemy is heat," Walker said. "Today, we are packing so much into power transfer cases that you may only end up with a cup of lubricant. We need to know how materials will respond to these new temperature extremes being generated in smaller, sealed environments."

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