Breathing Membrane Solves “S-Shape-Problem”

Sealing Systems

Breathing Membrane Solves “S-Shape-Problem”
in Steering Gaiters

With a new kind of steering boot with integrated pressure compensation, ContiTech has solved the “S-Shape-Problem” affecting steering systems. As temperatures rise, passenger car steering mechanism boots tend to buckle, taking on an s-shape. They thus run the risk of coming into contact with the steering system’s movable parts (the inside joint, for instance) and being damaged. The patented component is today already in use in various vehicle types and model lines.

The sensitive components in rack-and-pinion steering, which is installed in virtually every motor vehicle nowadays, are protected from moisture and dirt by boots made of TPE. As a rule, these components are subjected to high mechanical and thermal stress. Up to a million load alterations are nothing rare. In the steering area, temperatures from minus 40°C to plus 150°C occur. As temperatures rise in the steering system, air pressure rises as well. In the case of elastic steering boots, this results in a lateral excursion in the area of the folds. As the boot is fastened at both ends, every steering movement put the folds at risk of coming into contact with the inside joint and eventually being damaged.

The solution of Chassis Sealing Systems segment of ContiTech Vibration Controls is to prevent this excess pressure from ever occurring in the first place. In manufacturing the boots for the various vehicle types, additional pressure compensation elements are now introduced into the steering boot. An essential element is a dirt-resistant diaphragm permeable to air but not to moisture. It more or less breathes and fulfills its function – without letting any moisture in – at excess pressure as high as 0.6 bar. Basically similar materials are also used, for example, in leisure wear.

Breathing Membrane Solves “S-Shape-Problem” in Steering Gaiters Breathing Membrane Solves “S-Shape-Problem” in Steering Gaiters