Not all vibrations are good vibrations.
In fact, when it comes to commercial products, vibrations are usually a bad thing.
In the automotive components industry especially, vibrations are the cause of unwanted noise and performance issues. Many automotive manufacturers use rubber in some form or another to minimize their bad vibrations, and rubber bushings are a common solution.
As a leader in custom rubber compounding research and development, AirBoss continues to improve rubber bushing technology. We’re able to provide enterprise-level noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) benefits to commercial industries around the world through advanced rubber compound customization.
But not all rubber bushings are created equal. Here’s what you should know about how rubber bushings work to minimize vibrations in commercial automotive applications.
Rubber Bushings and Modern Vehicles
Every car or truck on the road would sound like metal in a meat grinder if it weren’t for rubber bushings and mounts. Fortunately, your typical automotive chassis system has around a dozen unique rubber dampening points in the front suspension alone. It’s no wonder that quality rubber is a sought-after commodity in the automotive industry.
Traditional rubber-type bushings (AKA mounts) are considered to be part of the automotive component selection for the suspension hardpoints in a vehicle. You’ll find a rubber bushing at every joint or pivot point in a vehicle that displaces weight or articulates.
- Reduce noise
- Minimize vibration
- Prevent components from coming into direct contact
- Isolate movement
- Provide resistance
Most rubber mounts inside a vehicle vary in consistency and stiffness. Some bushings give more than others, and some bushings provide more resistance. Each is utilized in a specific way to optimize performance.
Today, manufacturing leaders like AirBoss are even working alongside technology innovators to make rubber components for electric vehicles.
Rubber Bushings Get Better As Technology Improves
Vehicle technology has come a long way since the Model T. Cars and trucks are quieter, suspension systems are better, and engines are more powerful than ever.
Fortunately, rubber compounding and manufacturing technology has evolved to meet automotive demands. As engines improved and got hotter, rubber compounds adapted to become more heat resistant and perform better under added stress.
“The process of injection molding has stayed relatively the same over the last couple of decades, but the capability to control parameters and output has increased significantly,” says AirBoss Director of Engineering Jeff Auten.
“The ability to design and fabricate complex tooling has also allowed the product engineering teams to expand their creative side, effectively allowing products to come to market that we might not have been able to produce even 10 years ago.”
Auten explains that vehicles today can have widely different rubber bushing requirements even within the same suspension location. The slightest differences or changes to the powertrain, shock tuning, tire and wheel size, and suspension architecture can drive differences from one bushing to another.
“Every application is different and unique,” Auten says. “Where dampening and isolation is needed, it’s been a challenge to outperform mother nature [and] natural rubber. Its ability to provide isolation and yet be robust enough to handle the worst of high stress/strain environments is still unmatched in my opinion. Especially for the cost.”
Why Industry Leaders Choose AirBoss Rubber
Auten admits that it’s customer expectations that continue to drive AirBoss innovations. Better molding and assembly controls are employed—and in some cases created from scratch—to meet demand for tighter performance tolerances. AirBoss excels where some commercial rubber manufacturers either can’t or won’t meet consumer demands.
“AirBoss, in recent years, has put a lot of focus on product and material innovation,” offers Auten. “We are willing to look at the tough jobs that other suppliers might want to walk away from.”
A job might not fit a supplier’s sales strategy due to low volume, or advanced development costs might mean a supplier can’t fulfill an order. AirBoss is uniquely positioned to provide high-quality rubber solutions to almost any challenge.
“AirBoss prides itself in having both the manufacturing flexibility to manage small jobs profitably,” says Auten, “and also [have] some ownership in the costs to develop new technology or applications for our customers.”
Businesses around the world choose AirBoss for everything from rubber bushings to healthcare and defense products, because AirBoss is a leader in efficient, effective custom rubber compound manufacturing.