As Materials Evolve, Freudenberg-NOK Helps Manufacturing Customers Tackle Escalating Compatibility Issues

  As Materials Evolve, Freudenberg-NOK Helps Manufacturing Customers Tackle
                       Escalating Compatibility Issues

PR Newswire

PLYMOUTH, Mich., April 10, 2013

PLYMOUTH, Mich., April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil spots on the driveway are
largely a thing of the past, thanks to advanced elastomeric sealing materials.

But changes in powertrain technology, lubricants, durability standards and
consumer expectations are driving new compatibility requirements in today's
cars and trucks, and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (Freudenberg-NOK) is
at the forefront of helping its customers navigate this evolving material

Two Freudenberg-NOK materials experts will participate in 2013's SAE World
Congress April 16-18 at Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich., and discuss the
challenges associated with today's advanced industrial materials. Dr. Sai
Sundararaman, scientist specialist, Technology, will present the results of an
organizational study evaluating the effects of temperature on material wear.
Joseph Walker, director of Material Development and Chemical Regulatory
Compliance for the Americas, will discuss emerging material compatibility
issues during a roundtable forum with industry experts.

"Advances in vehicle technology have made material compatibility absolutely
key today," Walker said. "Rubber component manufactures incur risk every time
their materials are subjected to new fluids. Compatibility is really about
management of risk. In fact, the very definition of 'compatibility' needs to
be challenged since it is dependent upon application and design and is about
functional intent. It's no longer about standard evaluation methods."

Indeed, standard materials compatibility testing – the "dip and dunk" process
of emerging components in lubricants to analyze how their properties may
respond over time – are no longer robust given today's advanced powertrains
and transmissions that pack smaller spaces with electric motors and multiple
gear packs and clutches. New axle technology – the result of rising consumer
preferences for all wheel drive vehicles – also present harsh new material

"The enemy is heat," Walker said. "Today, we are packing so much into power
transfer cases that you may only end up with a cup of lubricant. We need to
know how materials will respond to these new temperature extremes being
generated in smaller, sealed environments."

Test protocols have not kept pace with advances in elastomeric technology and
increased industry durability standards, Walker noted. And because they rely
upon the use of factory-spec fluids, they may not accurately capture the real
environmental challenges that critical sealing components face once exposed to
the oils and coolants consumers routinely use in their vehicles. To further
complicate the vehicle environment in which materials function today,
alternate fuels such ethanol, methanol and compressed natural gasbring their
own unique set of sealing requirements to the equation.

"Our goal is to supply our customers with a material that works regardless of
the design and application challenges," Walker said. "But today's
compatibility testing may not always guarantee a spot-free driveway because
the measurements are too crude to take into account design and application

"With today's virtual manufacturing, we actually have the tools such as FEA
(Finite Element Analysis) to model the effects of design and application on
materials. That's what Freudenberg is doing. We are studying where today's
materials fall short and what we need to do to take them to the next level. We
are doing this up front, upstream, before finished parts are dunked and
dipped," Walker added.

Sundararaman's presentation will parallel Walker's in emphasizing the
importance of controlling temperature during testing. Current ASTM 3702 wear
test standard does not specify temperature control in test parameters.

"Material properties, especially for plastics, are temperature dependent,"
Sundararaman said. "So wear rates for engineered plastics are also temperature
dependent. Temperature controlled wear tests provide an improved means of
rating materials for wear performance and temperature control by ensuring that
the failure of the thermoplastic material is due to wear and not melting.
Freudenberg-NOK has developed a method for controlling temperature during wear
testing. This will be a significant benefit to our customers."

The 2013 SAE World Congress theme is "Achieving Efficiency." Efficiency is
essential to the success of the next generation of automobiles, the
organization said. Understanding material compatibility issues, Walker and
Sundararaman said, will play a critical role in achieving this efficiency. To
lean more, please go to

About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between
Freudenberg and Company in Germany and NOK Corporation in Japan. Founded in
1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK
Sealing Technologies is a leading producer of advanced sealing and elastomeric
technologies for a variety of industries including automotive, aerospace,
appliance, diesel engine, agriculture, construction, heavy industry, and
alternate energy.

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., and
has facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and
Malaysia. With annual revenues approaching $US 1 billion, the company employed
approximately 4,700 people in 2012. For additional information, please visit

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is part of the Freudenberg & Co. Group of
Germany. Freudenberg & Co. is a family of companies specializing in seals and
vibration control technology, nonwovens, filtration, lubricants and release
agents and other specialty business areas. The Freudenberg Group generated
sales of more than $7.8 billion and had 37,000 employees in 2012. For
additional information, please visit 

SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies

Contact: Cheryl Eberwein, FNST, +1 (734) 354-5373,;
or Lisa Gentile, Simrit, +1 (847) 428-1261,; or Adriana
Van Duyn,, or Jim Bianchi,,
Bianchi Public Relations, +1 (248) 269-1122