Test protocols have not kept pace with advances in elastomeric technology and increased industry durability standards, Walker noted. And because they rely upon the use of factory-spec fluids, they may not accurately capture the real environmental challenges that critical sealing components face once exposed to the oils and coolants consumers routinely use in their vehicles. To further complicate the vehicle environment in which materials function today, alternate fuels such ethanol, methanol and compressed natural gas bring their own unique set of sealing requirements to the equation.
"Our goal is to supply our customers with a material that works regardless of the design and application challenges," Walker said. "But today's compatibility testing may not always guarantee a spot-free driveway because the measurements are too crude to take into account design and application uses.
"With today's virtual manufacturing, we actually have the tools such as FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to model the effects of design and application on materials. That's what Freudenberg is doing. We are studying where today's materials fall short and what we need to do to take them to the next level. We are doing this up front, upstream, before finished parts are dunked and dipped," Walker added.
Sundararaman's presentation will parallel Walker's in emphasizing the importance of controlling temperature during testing. Current ASTM 3702 wear test standard does not specify temperature control in test parameters."Material properties, especially for plastics, are temperature dependent," Sundararaman said. "So wear rates for engineered plastics are also temperature dependent. Temperature controlled wear tests provide an improved means of rating materials for wear performance and temperature control by ensuring that the failure of the thermoplastic material is due to wear and not melting. Freudenberg-NOK has developed a method for controlling temperature during wear testing. This will be a significant benefit to our customers." The 2013 SAE World Congress theme is "Achieving Efficiency." Efficiency is essential to the success of the next generation of automobiles, the organization said. Understanding material compatibility issues, Walker and Sundararaman said, will play a critical role in achieving this efficiency. To lean more, please go to sae.org/congress. About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing TechnologiesFreudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Company in Germany and NOK Corporation in Japan. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is a leading producer of advanced sealing and elastomeric technologies for a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, appliance, diesel engine, agriculture, construction, heavy industry, and alternate energy. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., and has facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Malaysia. With annual revenues approaching $US 1 billion, the company employed approximately 4,700 people in 2012. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg-nok.com. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is part of the Freudenberg & Co. Group of Germany. Freudenberg & Co. is a family of companies specializing in seals and vibration control technology, nonwovens, filtration, lubricants and release agents and other specialty business areas. The Freudenberg Group generated sales of more than $7.8 billion and had 37,000 employees in 2012. For additional information, please visit www.freudenberg.com. SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies