Rubber is one of the most important aspects of auto manufacturing. In fact, about 80 percent of rubber produced in America is used in the automotive industry. It is important to employ vast quantities of rubber for the development of modern automobiles. The heat generated in an engine made mostly of metal and carbonated materials would be too much to handle, and the friction would ruin car engines and other parts, too. Only a material that can withstand harsh conditions or the environment can be used to prevent this.
Automobile manufacturers rely heavily on the quality and performance of rubber. The great thing about rubber is that it is resistant to many chemicals used in vehicles.
Let’s take a look at the different uses of rubber in the auto industry.
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A tire consists of a rubber ring around the rim of an automobile wheel. They are made up of 200 different types of raw materials. Tires provide a contact patch that is designed to match the weight of the vehicle. The materials used in the production of modern tires include synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric, wire and other chemical compounds.
There are four main hoses in an automobile: the fuel hose, radiator hose, power steering hose and heater hose. Hoses act as the circulatory system of a car. They are made with two rubber tubes and a wire, cotton or fabric between the rubbers.
Rubber belts help provide power for some key components in the vehicle. If the belt should break, all the engine parts that rely on it will stop, and sometimes it leads to the damage of the engine. Some of the engine parts are the power steering pump, cooling fan and much more.
Three types of belts are widely used in auto manufacturing: the timing belt, the serpentine belt and the V-belts. The serpentine belt is widely used in newer cars because they are easy to replace.
You wouldn’t want a situation where the flammable fluids inside your car engine are not working perfectly or by chance, they are leaking and getting to other parts of the engine. Seals, grommets and o-rings are rubber moldings that are found mostly in engines.
Seals are rubber components that are used to prevent vibrations, leaks and also noise in the engine. Grommets are materials that protect a hole from getting damaged, it also helps safeguard hoses and the materials inside. O-rings are mechanical gaskets used to prevent the escape of air and fluid. O-rings are used throughout your vehicle to ensure the safe movement of fluids flowing through hoses.
Cost of Failure
Rubber components might seem low on the scale of the importance of vehicle parts, but the cost of failure of these components can be quite high. It can result in loss of lives, debt and much more. Failure of rubber components can occur when they have not been changed for a long period of time. For example, a leak in the fuel hose of a car can lead to the engine getting insufficient fuel, which would be quite damaging to the engine.
Recently, there has been an increase in silicone rubbers being used in new vehicles as EPDM gets replaced. This is because the silicone rubbers can withstand more temperature rises. The silicone rubber resistance to a number of chemicals is the main reason why it is widely used in new vehicles, but still, they have to be changed when the time comes. If you keep driving in a car with a bad tire, your car won’t be able to move as it used to, and this could result in accidents.
Rubber Will Always Be Important to the Auto Industry
The importance of rubber to the auto industry in making cars safer and more durable cannot be overestimated. And perhaps we should stop trying to estimate it and focus more on being fully aware of the rubber components of our automobiles, to maintain them better.