The influence of temperature on the material properties and durability of elastomers is being investigated by the Research Group SAM as part of the BMWi-funded project “Elasto-Opt II” – capture, simulation, and evaluation of the thermomechanical damage mechanisms of elastomer components under dynamic mechanical loads.
In the case of higher-frequency loadings, it can be seen that the material heats up quickly. This has an effect on the material properties and, consequently, the life under oscillating loads. In the previous project “Elasto-Opt“ (IGF project no. 400 ZN) a model made of thermo-viscoelastic material was initially developed. This model is bidirectionally coupled, and reproduces mechanical and thermal material behavior. With this model, the self-heating of the material can be calculated through loads depicted in a Finite-Element-Analysis, by which the mechanical behavior of the material can change depending on the predominant temperature.
The tools developed so far in the follow-up project need to be refined and prepared for practical use. The concept for temperature-dependent lifetime analysis proposed in ”Elasto-Opt" will be tested on other natural rubber based elastomer compounds and each module will be further modified if necessary. Finally, the possibilities and the limitations of the concept will be determined and presented, from which a recommendation for application will be developed.