Energy Management Case Studies

DuraFlex® Rubber Vibration Isolators for Class 5-8 Trucks

The Manufacturer’s Challenge: Required a Stronger Rubber for Radiator Mounts

duraflex isolation mounts

Isolation mounts for heavy trucks need to be as tough as the rigs and the crews that operate them. A manufacturer of American trucks came to our experts at Polymer Technologies with a request: they needed a longer-lasting rubber for their vibration isolators to hold up mile after mile. We sat down with the manufacturer to discuss their elastomeric requirements. Before radiator mount designs are put into production, they must withstand extensive testing that simulates real-world conditions.

Since road testing parts 500,000 or 1,000,000 miles is impractical, this particular truck manufacturer uses an accelerated test. Due to hysteretic damping of typical mounts, testing engineers expect to use up to half of a dozen sets over the course of the test.

About the accelerated radiator durability test:

  • Only records results from bumpier (less than ideal) driving conditions
  • Places the radiator on a set of rubber radiator mounts
  • The radiator and mounts are connected to a laboratory shaker table
  • The shaker table subjects the radiator to a set of harsh shock and vibration inputs
  • Runs non-stop over the course of a week with no cooling-off period

Polymer Technologies' Solution: DuraFlex® Rubber Compound

Understanding the manufacturer’s parameters, our isolation experts proposed using one of our latest innovations, DuraFlex®, as an alternative elastomer to their rubber. Created by Polymer Technologies' material experts in conjunction with Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Inc. (ARDL), DuraFlex® is designed to withstand excessive amounts of shock and vibration without building up internal heat.

Since DuraFlex® builds up no internal heat when flexed, it does not degrade and is an extremely long-life material for use in vibration mounts.

For this reason, Polymer Technologies' engineers felt this accelerated test would be ideal for demonstrating the long-life properties of DuraFlex® and meet the manufacturer’s requirements.

Polymer Technologies produced a set of radiator mounts identical in design to the truck manufacturer's existing mounts and provided them for testing.

DuraFlex® is an easily moldable compound and able to conform to precise specifications.

The Results: The Longest Lasting Isolation Mounts

duraflex isolation mounts

The truck manufacturer followed their standard testing process, and after a week-long test, a single set of DuraFlex® radiator mounts survived the entire shake testing process. As opposed to our competitor’s products, which quickly became no longer fit for use, the DuraFlex® mounts were not degraded in any way. Not only did they stand up to the test, but they were also in stable enough condition that they could continue to be used going forward. Because of its durability and ultra-high fatigue life, the rubber radiator mounts made of DuraFlex® proved to be superior to any that had been previously utilized by the heavy truck manufacturer. Utilizing DuraFlex® rubber shock and vibration mounts can be a great cost-saving solution resulting in far fewer replacement parts and warranty claims.

More About Duraflex®

The power of the DuraFlex® solution lies within the rubber’s ability to not generate internal heat. Typical rubbers build up heat as they move from a flexed to a relaxed position. This kind of movement regularly happens for rubber mounts as the engine shakes and vibrates as the truck travels on bumpy roads. DuraFlex® rubber is highly resilient, has an ultra-high fatigue life, and is prone to almost no damping. It has the lowest temperature rise rubber known to exist. One of the DuraFlex® rubber formulas scored a 0° temperature rise on the Goodrich Flexometer Test. This test measures how much internal heat is generated when the rubber is flexed and relaxed repeatedly.

A general-purpose natural rubber will usually see an increase in temperature of about 12-14° F, and a long-life rubber blend will typically see a rise of around 6° F. The DuraFlex® material is also an excellent candidate for use in engine mounts, and any other high-fatigue, anti-vibration application. Most big truck engines are designed to last roughly 1,000,000 miles with scheduled maintenance, and the typical warranty for one set of engine mounts is no more than 500,000 miles. The industry goal is to use engine mounts that will live for the life of the engine without having to be replaced. DuraFlex® is an excellent choice to meet that goal.

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