Hydraulic power steering has been around for decades, and recently, automotive manufacturers have incorporated methods to reduce vehicle weight in system design.  However, the use of electronic steering methods, as a means of improving vehicle gas mileage has created sealing problems.  

Vanseal solves major issue for steering input shaft leakage

Fuel efficiency isn’t the most important aspect of steering assembly design.  Demands placed on steering systems can vary dramatically between light weight passenger vehicles and commercial trucks.  So seal manufacturers must have an astute knowledge of system design and understand the needs of normal steer axle loads vs. heavier loads.

Along with fuel efficiency, the greatest concern is meeting zero tolerance for ground leakage of fluids and oils.  Seals used in steering gears need to be capable of handling higher pressures, with no leakage, while also providing low-friction rotation under pressure for smooth, easy steering operation.

When Failure Isn’t an Option

OEMs should be very selective when it comes to their seal supplier.  Steering failures can have a substantial financial impact.  Design concerns aren’t only about vehicle vibration, or stiff and difficult steering operation.   The greatest concern is leakage caused by seal failure because this affects not only safety but the environment, and restrictive codes can hit violators with significant fines.

When system requirements are strenuous, and quality and performance are non-negotiable, it’s best to work with a seal supplier with knowledge and experience in heavy-duty, steering system seal design.

The Secret to Success

Vanseal has several proven seal designs.  Our steering input shaft seal has been successful in maintaining the integrity of steering gear applications with pressures of up to 2,350 psi.

The reason we’re successful?  Vanseal approaches projects differently by examining both seal geometry and material design perspective in the design.

Seal Geometry

Optional geometry design applied to steering systems depends upon the specific application’s hardware and duty cycle demands.

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Material Design

When making a vendor selection, consider a seal house who offers a large catalog of proprietary compounds with the modulus, abrasion resistance, and low friction capabilities. Material selection needs to include:

• Strong tolerance to high pressures
• Made of a high modulus material
• Have a low coefficient of friction

To successfully produce a highly successful steering system seal look for a vendor with proven experience.

Work with an experienced manufacturer

The biggest contributing factor to a successful project is to work with an experienced manufacturer. Vanseal carries a seal design that matched the best performance laid out by client bench-testing. Our component design demonstrated it could reduce torque to rotate by as much as fifty percent. This design would work successfully in heavy-duty steering gears as well as other applications including, high-pressure rotary and oscillating systems used in motors and hydraulic rotary actuators.

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