ContiTech develops air springs for extreme temperatures


ContiTech has developed two new air springs for heavy goods vehicles, which it claims operate under extreme temperatures. ContiTech states that the reason for this is ‘the growing global importance of logistics, with trucks and semi-trucks being used increasingly in regions dominated by especially hot or cold ambient temperatures’.

As both extremes impose high requirements on vehicle components, ContiTech has introduced air springs from the Arktis series for use in especially cold areas and hi-temp air springs for use in high temperatures above zero. The key basis for the cold-resistant air springs is the special rubber compound used, and is identifiable by the snowflake logo on the side.

“Conventional air springs lose their elasticity at low sub-zero temperatures and can develop leaks,” explains Diethelm Bauch, head of Commercial Vehicle Original Equipment at ContiTech Air Spring Systems. “This is why we developed a compound and put it through rigorous testing in the cold chamber. With the new air spring, trucks are optimally equipped to operate in temperatures as low as -55°C.”

In extremely hot regions, the higher ambient temperatures and extreme atmospheric effects, such as ozone and UV radiation, can accelerate the wear process of rubber components. The installation conditions in the vehicle can further intensify this process: In particular, the proximity to the vehicle exhaust system places higher thermal stress on the air springs.

To slow down the process and guarantee a long service life even in high temperatures, ContiTech has developed an air spring for high-temperature applications – the hi-temp air spring. It is based on a compound comprising chloroprene rubber (CR) as the main component and is marked with the symbol of a sun.

“Tests in a climate chamber have shown that the new hi-temp air spring offers twice the service life of a standard product in extreme temperatures of 80°C,” concluded Bauch. “This makes it the ideal solution for use under aggressive temperature influences – also outside the subtropics.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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