The Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers (ARPM) and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, as a lead member of the organization, have unveiled a new harmonized material data sheet that will save suppliers time and money when implemented into their material testing practices. The data sheet can be used globally to track material characteristics.
The new harmonized material data sheet provides a standardized protocol that specifies the conditions under which a material has been fabricated and tested in laboratory settings. Suppliers who adopt the ARPM system will be required to provide the same test data on every material they introduce to market, thus helping to establish a comparative material foundation that does not exist today. Industry-wide implementation of such standard protocols will help streamline material testing, noted F. Joseph Walker, Global Director, Advanced Materials Development for Freudenberg-NOK and the chairman of the ARPM seals and gaskets committee.
“A harmonized material data sheet does not replace an OEM’s individual specification demands,” Walker said. “But what it does do is provide a rapid way to evaluate the basic suitability of materials. By using this harmonized data sheet, suppliers will be providing standardized data derived from use of identical tests performed under identical laboratory conditions. This will level the playing field, so to speak, because the same information is being collected.”
The new ARPM harmonized material data sheet, ARPM document number OS-1-4, will in most cases eliminate the need for suppliers to screen materials using different companies’ protocols since automotive manufacturers as well as suppliers were involved in the sheet’s development. This regionally-accepted material protocol will maximize efficiency and reduce testing costs.
The new data sheet, OS-1-4, will identify the conditions under which a material has been fabricated for standardized testing. Those conditions include time, temperature and any post molding conditions such as oven treatment.
Additionally, the data sheet will identify the cross link density of the material being tested. Cross link density is an important material characteristic because the physical and mechanical properties of a material are closely associated with its cross link density. The cross link density of a material should be the same in a molded component as it is in the slab that was used to qualify the suitability of the compound, Walker pointed out.
The data sheet will collect the “DNA” of a material including all key properties and the thermal resistance – including low temperature stiffening characteristics, compression- stress-relaxation resistance and the fluid resistance of the material – using sophisticated test methodologies. Those methodologies include long-term, continuous exposure to temperature and, for the first time, identification of surrogate for engine oils and coolant, transmission and gear fluids.
Freudenberg-NOK will adopt the new harmonized material data sheet as the new reporting standard for its materials. The company will ask its suppliers to comply with the new reporting practice as well.
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies