Two small, highly engineered components from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics - RENCOL® tolerance rings and NORGLIDE® self-lubricating plain bearings - are significantly improving the performance of automotive powertrain components. Both can be used in dual mass flywheels and the use of NORGLIDE bearings in decoupled pulleys in the belt driven accessory system of modern vehicles has contributed to a change of design.
Recent industry demands for higher torque and temperature operation have stretched the durability of systems using pulley decoupling forces generated by an elastomeric connection between the two components. In the latest Saint-Gobain designs, energized springs initiate mechanical decoupling and a NORGLIDE plain bearing is included in the system to cope with higher temperatures and aging issues of the elastomeric connection.
NORGLIDE bearings have fluoropolymer-based functional layer reinforced by a metal backing. The pulley application uses NORGLIDE's full potential, including the ability to specify components with specifically tailored geometries and sliding surface compositions.
A dual mass flywheel (DMF) smoothes engine pulses by transmitting torque to the transmission through two flywheels connected by springs. The oscillating motion between the flywheels is much better suited to the properties of NORGLIDE bearings, which are virtually maintenance free, than roller or ball bearings which can suffer from a lack of grease take-up due to the high-frequent small movements of system. In addition, NORGLIDE bearings are less expensive, require less space, compensate for minor misalignments and reduce NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
RENCOL tolerance rings are also used in DMFs. These precision fasteners, manufactured from stainless or hardened carbon steel, have a special geometry that allows them to behave like radial springs. They are press fitted between mating components - in the case of the DMF, a flange and fixation ring. RENCOL tolerance rings compensate for manufacturing variations or the different thermal expansion properties of materials and offers advantages in NVH. However, in the case of the DMF, the component also provides overload - or shock - protection by allowing joined parts to move relative to each other above a pre-determined torque.
These and other solutions not only take full advantage of the unique characteristics of RENCOL and NORGLIDE products, but also draw on the combined powertrain expertise of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. The company has a large and active research and development department that allows it to take full advantage of advances in materials and processes, and an extensive testing facility which ensures that all of its products and solutions fully and reliably meet the user's requirements.
Whatever the applications, products and solutions from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics benefit from attractive pricing, fast dependable deliveries for both prototype and production quantities, and readily accessible expert technical support, all of which help users to reduce costs, optimize performance and minimize the time to market for their products. For further information please visit: www.bearings.saint-gobain.com
Saint-Gobain is a global leader in the design, production and distribution of innovative, high performance materials for industry and employs over 191,500 people. With operations in over 64 countries, Saint-Gobain is the 60th largest employer and among the top 50 global industrial companies worldwide. Saint-Gobain is listed on the stock exchanges of Paris, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Brussels and Amsterdam. Saint-Gobain focuses on three core markets: Construction Products, Innovative Materials, and Building Distribution; and, the company is committed to play a leading role in developing energy efficient innovations for the housing and construction sectors, protecting the environment, and managing growth in a sustainable fashion. With 14 global sites, the Bearings and Tolerance Rings Group, a division of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, provides 'engineer-to-engineer' motion control solutions to high volume international OEMs in the automotive, leisure, energy, industrial, and other markets. Backed by a heritage of product innovation, technology, advanced materials and market leadership, they are dedicated to working with customers using their extensive engineering expertise to deliver standard and custom solutions in NORGLIDE® bearings, RENCOL® tolerance rings, SOLGLIDE® bearings, and NORSLIDE® cable liners that meet the most demanding applications. For further information please visit: www.bearings.saint-gobain.com
Christa Carroll, Outlook Marketing Services