Coventry-based steering system manufacturer Pailton Engineering, has announced the results of the 56-week-long test programme on its new generation three bevel Box. The findings showed that after a sustained period of submersion, salt and grit exposure at temperatures as low as -40°C, no trace of water had entered the vital component and the part maintained its smooth operation. This has huge implications for buses, trucks and military vehicles in sub zero climates.
Bevel boxes are a pivotal component of a steering system, transmitting torque through 90° in order to provide a compact steering system package. The Generation three bevel box was launched last year, to improve on previous designs, adding new design features. It boasts upgraded sealing capabilities and reduced torque characteristics.
“We set up a bespoke, brand new test station at Pailton, to make sure our latest bevel box design was fit for purpose,” explained Emma Cygan, design and development engineer at Pailton Engineering. “This involved submerging the generation three bevel box in salt water for extensive periods of dynamic testing and evaluation. The bevel boxes were subjected to dynamic submersion and low temperatures.
“Quite frankly, we have abused these bevel boxes. We wanted to see if the sealing design features, such as the serration cover and outer full cover, could endure this continual operation, salt and grit exposure and incredibly low temperatures, all while keeping water out of the component. We knew if the bevel box could handle this, then enduring real world extremes would be easy.”
To complement this, Pailton also sent the bevel box to external testing facilities. Here, it was determined to meet ASTM B117, an internationally recognised standard of salt testing. It also was shown to conform with ingress protection codes IP66 and IP67.
Low temperatures can bring about issues with the viscosity of the fluid in lubricated components. However, the low temperature lubrication selected for the generation three bevel box can handle a temperature range of -40°C to 80°C, maintaining its low friction capabilities throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. This means the component has a much lower running torque of 30 Ncm, resulting in minimal steering effort to the driver.
The new bevel box design will provide increased protection, reducing the effects military vehicles, buses and coaches face in a changing environment, such as across the cold regions of the United States, Europe and Canada.
As well as low temperatures, Pailton Engineering can manufacture this bevel box to the specific requirements for any vehicle application, using the latest technology in manufacturing and testing will extend the product life.
Filed Under: Test + measurement • test equipment