Germany-headquartered Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) provides a solution to hydraulic seal leakage at high altitudes and low temperatures. With a team of experts led by Dr. Paul Hochgesang, a Materials Research Fellow based in FST’s Plymouth, Michigan, Central Laboratories, the company has developed and begun manufacturing seals made from a new Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) material that addresses this significant challenge in the aerospace industry.
“Standard EPDMs (used in aircrafts) cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to very low temperatures without becoming brittle and cracking. The cracks can lead to fluid leaks in essential systems like hydraulic brake lines. Aerospace engineers were looking for a solution to such leakage issues. At the same time, ongoing development of new hydraulic fluids prompted their interest in evaluating new material formulations, “ FST stated.
According to FST, the new material, 80 EPDM 426288, successfully seals hydraulic systems operating at temperatures as low as -85°F (-65°C) a breakthrough in EPDM formulations. Scientists at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies have used a unique polymer to produce the synthetic rubber material.
The material meets the new AMS7361 specification for improved low temperature behaviour in commercial aircraft hydraulic systems. In both lab testing and application, 80 EPDM 426288 demonstrates superior, low-temperature, sealing behaviour after extensive exposure to fluids, pressures and temperature extremes, FST said. EPDM can be crafted to resist sunlight, ozone and chemical degradation, effectively seal phosphate-ester hydraulic fluids and other fluids and performs well at temperatures of up to 302°F (150°C).
Seals and components made from 80 EPDM 426288 have already been manufactured and tested in North America and Europe by several major aerospace manufacturers and system suppliers. Based on extremely positive customer feedback and reports, production of aerospace O-rings made from this new EPDM have been launched.