Polymer Case Studies
DuraFlex® Rubber Vibration Isolators for Class 5-8 Trucks
Description of the Request:
Polymer Technologies met with a large American heavy truck manufacturer to discuss DuraFlex®, an easily moldable compound which can be used to replace the trucking company's existing rubber radiator mounts. 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.
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
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. 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®.
Polymer Technologies' Solution:
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. This is why Polymer Technologies knew it would outperform any other rubber radiator mount product the truck manufacturer had previously tested. Polymer Technologies produced a set of radiator mounts identical in design to the truck manufacturer's existing mounts and provided them for testing.
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 strong 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 high 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 happens constantly 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. In fact, it is 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 by the flexing and relaxing of the rubber. A general purpose natural rubber will usually see a rise of 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 bore 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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