Engineering plastics are heavily used by manufacturers in many industries, including the automotive industry, in tribological applications. However, current standardized testing used to evaluate the performance of these plastics often falls short. To address this issue, Saikrishna Sundararaman, a senior scientist with Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, presented findings on “Improved Testing Methods for Tribological Evaluation of High Performance Plastics” at the 2019 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress Experience (WCX) event in Detroit this week.
Freudenberg-NOK runs the business operations for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies in the Americas.
The use of high performance plastics across multiple industries continues to grow for a variety of reasons including their ease of use, lighter weights, compatibility with a broad range of materials and damping characteristics. While standardized methods of evaluating tribological performance of engineered plastics exist, their ability to predict part performance in a final application is hampered by low pressure-velocity combinations commonly used in these tests; their inability to properly differentiate between various failure modes; and the large number of variables that exist in a tribological system.
In fact, variables that should be considered during testing include pressure, relative speeds, thermomechanical properties of mating components, surface roughness/hardness parameters, type of lubricant and most importantly, part geometry and the large variability of thermal management in an application, Sundararaman postulates in his presentation.
Sundararaman discussed a new testing approach that evaluates dry and lubricated wear of high performance plastics that facilitates multiple testing repeats to understand variation within a sample. In addition, he explained the experimental set-up and share the tribological data for a range of engineering plastics to show that the new proposed test methodology is suitable for rating tribological performance of materials and improves upon existing methods.
The WCX World Congress Experience, an annual event for forward-thinking engineers, executives, OEMs, suppliers, decision-makers, disruptors and the entire spectrum of the mobility-engineering field, took place April 9-11 at Cobo Center in Detroit. https://www.sae.org/attend/wcx