Case Study: Motorcycle Shock Energy Reduced by 30 Gs

Custom Molded Urethane Foam Improves Performance for Motorcycle OEM

A leading motorcycle manufacturer needed to reduce the amount of shock produced from an electromechanical muffler exhaust actuator without altering the design of their specialized exhaust system. They contacted Polymer Technologies to help them think inside the box to develop a custom solution.

Using Custom Molded Foam to Solve Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Challenges

Summary of Final Results

  • Reduced the shock energy from 40+ Gs to 11 Gs
  • Eliminated warranty claims for premature failure of the actuator
  • Designed foam insulation that required only 2.5" of space and fit in the existing design
  • By comparison, other solutions required 5" of space

The Challenge: Noise Reduction for a Custom Exhaust System

The motorcycle original equipment manufacturer (OEM) developed a sophisticated and unique exhaust system that incorporated an electromechanical actuator. The actuator opened and closed a baffle plate in the muffler, allowing the bike to operate in two different ways depending on the rider’s preference.

Closing the baffle caused the motorcycle to run very quietly, making it suitable for operating in residential areas. Opening the baffle created a straight through muffler, resulting in increased performance on the open road.

Understanding the need for an isolator to protect the actuator, the motorcycle OEM had contacted a leading vibration isolation manufacturer. This materials manufacturer stipulated the need for over 5” of design space within the exhaust system.

The additional 5” would allow for an appropriately sized isolator to reduce the shock energy from the motorcycle’s current 40+ Gs to the desired 15 Gs. This stipulation caused the motorcycle OEM to put on the brakes as they wanted to maintain the original design and functionality of their exhaust system.

That’s when they turned to Polymer Technologies. Unlike the other manufacturer, Polymer Technologies was willing to work within the existing design constraints to come up with a noise reduction solution.

Our Solution: Custom Molded Urethane Foam Insulation

After they provided us with their requirements, we were able to work one-on-one with the motorcycle manufacturer to develop an ideal solution. The experts at our Polymer Molded Products Division (PMP) determined that a POLYFORM® molded urethane foam would offer the necessary resilience to isolate the actuator, as well as maintain the durability needed to live within the intended environment.

The Result: Actuator Protection with a Custom Molded Solution

We were able to design a foam insulation that required only 2.5" of space to reduce the measured shock energy for the current 40+ Gs down to just 11 Gs, while compressing the foam a mere 5/8". The manufacturer was able to implement the molded foam in their exhaust system and eliminate warranty claims for premature failure of the actuator. Not only was the manufacturer able to fix their energy management problem, but they were also able to keep their original design intact.

Tackle Complex Design Challenges with Molded Foam

Improve not only the functionality of equipment but assembly time and cost too with a molded solution! We can work within your design constraints to develop molded foam for an existing product, or you can bring us in at the start of product development. If the possibilities of molded foam excite you, then be bold and develop your own custom mold with us, the experts at Polymer Technologies.

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