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Low-friction tribo-tape liner improves reliability in long-distance races

The starting signal for the Motor Challenge 2016 was given at the Chinese Wall. In this race, more than 100 old-timers and classic cars will compete. Among the participants again a 1960 Morgan Plus 4, which has a special chassis: in the leaf suspension of the vehicle, the wear-resistant and lubrication-free iglidur® tribo-tape is used.

The problem: due to dirt and lubrication, the old-timer broke down

Mulberry has more than 30 years of experience with refitting work for car races. The steel chassis of the four-seater Plus 4 was radically overhauled and put on its wheels in an entirely new way, using modern, high-strength materials from the area of aeronautical engineering. For races, the back springs and the front-wheel suspension are usually thoroughly lubricated and oiled. On very dusty, sandy and dirty routes, like such a long-distance rally, a premature breakdown of these components can occur, as dirt and sand stick to the lubricated parts. Due to a defect on the rear leaf suspension, the vehicle ended up stranded in the Gobi desert for four days during the last race.

Leaf suspension of the old-timer

The solution: Dirt-resistant dry operation with tribo-tape liner

Leaf suspension with tribo-tape

"When I received a sample of the iglidur® tribo-tape with self-adhesive underside, using it at the back leaf suspensions was a logical step for me. " explains Simon Hall, Managing Director of Mulberry Fabrications. Previously, PTFE bands were attached between the leaf suspensions instead of using lubrication. Under continuous load these tended to be squeezed out The tribo-tape consists of the material iglidur® A160, which is characterised by low coefficients of friction, wear resistance and self-lubricating properties. The material is lightweight, easy to machine and in addition reduces the noise of the leaf suspensions as the plastic absorbs impacts.

Easy assembly due to adhesive surface

Mulberry acquired a brand-new set of Morgan leaf suspension and dismantled them. The individual leaves were carefully deburred on the sliding surface and polished. Afterwards, the tribo-tape was cut into shape and attached to each leaf. Finally, the elements were reassembled. "The first tests showed a significant decrease of the coefficient of friction thanks to the tribo-tape. This should also contribute to a more comfortable drive and avoid the danger of a mechanical failure and premature wear due to dirt," says Hall.

Tribo-tape to reduce friction

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