September 02nd, 2021
Most of our engineering terms will be familiar to you, however, we sometimes use phrases in a very specific context.
Here’s the Saint-Gobain guide to many of the terms you’ll come across on our website and in our literature.
The force needed to assemble components.
Ceramic or steel balls that are fitted between inner and outer rings. These are designed to support rotating shafts, while reducing friction between the static and moving parts.
These are mechanical articulating joints that have an inner ring with a convex outer surface and an outer ring with a concave inner surface. Also known as heim joint, rose joint, rod ends or spherical bearings, with certain limitations they allow movements in all three directions.
A bearing is a component that facilitates movement between two parts, while reducing friction. Different types have the same basic structure and purpose: two surfaces that move over each other, enabling mating parts to move with low friction. The main difference is whether they are working with rotational or linear motion. Variants can be sliding, roller, ball, and needle, as well as sleeve, journal or plain bearings (also known as bushings).
Bearings are mounted differently depending on their type and use. Typically, bearing housing fulfils both fixing and retention force functions.
If power is transferred from the engine to other components by a belt, this belt needs to maintain a pre-determined level of tension to prevent it from slipping. A belt tensioner ensures the necessary tension and reduces the impact of vibration.
Another name for the sleeve or plain bearing, the bushing is a cylindrical component that’s used for radial loads. Bushings have a sliding action, and because bushings are often self-lubricating, they provide a smooth operation.
Buzz, squeak and rattle describe the types of noises produced by components and parts that are fitted in such a way that they create annoying sounds. Buzz, squeak and rattle is caused by the relative motion between installed parts, which make them interact, sometimes only at certain environmental conditions. BRS is a standard sound quality check for a vehicle. Using our semi-anechoic chamber we can simulate real-time driving conditions to test for nuisance noises. See also NVH.
This is a structural safety feature used in vehicles when an axial load is applied. An example is the collapsible steering column which allows an inner tube to slip inside an outer jacket during a vehicle collision to reduce the impact for the driver.
PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is a high-performance, engineering plastic. Our NORGLIDE® composite PTFE bearings combine steel or other metals with compounded PTFE for low-friction strength.
The resistance of a material to withstand elements that can cause corrosion.
Mechanical connection between a door and the cabin to allow the door to be opened and closed. The use of composite PTFE bearings make door hinges maintenance-free.
Electrification is the conversion of a former power to electricity, often a shift away from the combustion engine.
Electrophoretic deposition (sometimes called EPD, electrocoating, e-coating or e-painting) is the process of coating metal parts, often used in the automotive sector as the initial chassis coat. The components to be painted are submerged into an electro paint bath, then a charge is applied.
A fastener joins mating components together. A tolerance ring is a type of fastener, which is compressed between two components as an engineered fixing.
FEA simulates the behavior of a component under certain conditions. It predicts how the part or system will respond to real-life conditions and situations.
A flanged bearing has a cylindrical body with a flange at one or both ends.
Forming the flange(s) allows the bearing to be fixed inside a housing to support both radial and axial loads. The flange can be custom designed to any thickness to provide distance between the mating parts to avoid high friction and noise that would materialize if mating components had direct metal-to-metal contact.
Friction is applied to the moving parts to convert kinetic energy into thermal energy, resisting motion and slowing and eventually stopping movement. These can also be integrated into sensor systems, such as high-end vehicle hoods.
Used in vehicle closures, a gooseneck hinge consists of a body side strap connected to the vehicle, and a gooseneck-shaped side strap connected to the closure. It includes a pivot pin to enable rotational movement.
The straps ground (electrically) accessories and attachments to the body or the negative terminal of the battery. Visible on many vehicles next to the tailgate hinge to ground the antenna, the ground strap improves cell phone reception.
These various hinge types are all used to lift the rear door of a vehicle. The hinges are located at the end of the roof and are used in compact cars, SUV’s, station wagons or minivans..
A linear motion bearing provides smooth movement in linear directions. Typical applications in vehicles are steering yokes, seat tracks and shock absorbers.
A lock washer is also known as a push nut. It slides onto the shaft then locks into place securely with its teeth and has no need for threads. Once fixed, it’s impossible to remove. These are found in a range of applications from the automotive industry to children’s toys.
Made from a low-friction material (such as PTFE or PTFE composite) for maintenance-free, low-friction operation.
A special design of roller bearings where the diameter of the rolling elements is much smaller than the length - like a needle.
Noise, vibration and harshness is a measure of the feedback experienced by users from a mechanical machine, system or component. Noise is used to describe unwanted or undesirable sound. Vibration refers to the oscillating, reciprocating, or other motion of a rigid/elastic body or medium forced from a position or state of equilibrium. A more common phrase for harshness is psychoacoustics and considers the human perception to sound based. More information about the NVH considerations for future vehicles can be found in our blog.
A one-way clutch facilitates easier movement in one direction than the other. It’s housed between inner and outer rings, transmitting torque in one direction while preventing it in the other.
Bearings are made from thin-walled metal or composite materials. It’s also known as a sleeve bearing or a bushing.
PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is a high-performance engineering plastic that provides low friction, noise-dampening, and maintains constant torque. It’s found in many everyday items under its better-known brand name, Teflon™.
These bearings are made from a composite material, consisting of low-friction PTFE reinforced by steel or other metals for rigidity. These bearings are typically self-lubricating and maintenance-free.
A pulley is a (grooved) wheel. A ball bearing is located in the centre of the pulley to allow high speed rotational motion (e. g. accessory belt system). The fixation of the pulley on a driving shaft is called a pulley mount.
A push nut is a washer with teeth, also known as a lock washer. A push nut slides onto the shaft then locks into place securely, with no need for threads. The teeth fix the washer into place, making it impossible to remove. Our SPRINGLIDE™ push nuts reduce noise and friction.
Spherical plain bearings transfer loads while facilitating angular displacement within a system element. They are actually plain bearings, not ball or roller bearings, and they use a sliding contact mechanism. Typically, a radial spherical plain bearing is located between an inner ring with a convex outer surface, and an outer ring with a concave inner surface.
In this context, retention force is the means by which two components are held together. A good example is a tolerance ring, where the spring elements of the tolerance ring provide a secure retention force, which helps to keep all the components in place.
Cylindrical or tapered rolling-element bearings with a high load capacity. Stainless steel cylindrical roller bearings take heavy-duty radial loads and are used in applications with high speeds.
Mainly an US light truck application, the running board is a step that helps users reach their high car doors.
These bushings are located in the brackets or linkages of a seat structure. They allow for the seat height to be adjusted with low forces while compensating tolerances and misalignment. NORGLIDE® PTFE Bearings are maintenance-free and provide noise and vibration dampening properties.
Seat folding bearings operate using pivot points to fold away unused seats for saving space. This allows more flexible interior designs. NORGLIDE® Bearings offer high adjustability and stiffness of seat structures and their damping properties eliminate cab noises.
Bearings either require lubrication using a grease or fluid or are made from a material that is self-lubricating, such as PTFE. As well as being lower-maintenance, self-lubricating bearings attract fewer contaminants.
An anechoic chamber is a sealed space made from sound-absorbing materials, designed for testing noise levels. A semi-anechoic chamber is the same, except with a solid floor that can act as a work surface.
Another name for a plain bearing, due to its sleeve-like, cylindrical construction.
The center console is often used as armrest. When adjusting the seat front-back, the center console will need to be positioned, too. Sliding armrest bearings allow the center console to be shifted in a smooth way; on purpose and not by chance.
A sliding plain bearing is generally designed for slow, low-friction sliding or oscillating movements, and is also known as a sleeve bearing or a bushing.
If a set level of torque is reached, a slip clutch, or slip torque limiter, disconnects the components by slipping, preventing overload and possible damage.
This technology is applied to automated door opening and trunk hinges. It is small, precise, and can take a high axial load.
The SPRINGLIDE™ Spring Energised Bearing eliminates the need for large clearance and reduces rattles in automotive applications. SPRINGLIDE™ combines the low friction properties of our sliding NORGLIDE® Bearings with the tolerance compensation capabilities of RENCOL® Tolerance Rings. The outer surface has corrugated waves that act as springs over a low-friction PTFE lining.
The stator provides the magnetic field that drives the rotating armature in an electric motor. Mounting the stator can pose difficulties caused by differences in the thermal expansion coefficients due to different materials. The solution is to mount the stator using our RENCOL® Tolerance Ring, which can deliver the required retention forces throughout different materials and operating temperatures.
A suspension strut comprises of a spring coil and damper. The role of the suspension strut is to absorb road impact to improve the ride of the vehicle as it is travelling. This is achieved by the coil being fastened to a suspension strut bearing which enables the coil to pivot and rotate as it compresses and extends. The suspension strut also connects the axle to the body of the vehicle.
The throttle body is a tube containing a pivoting valve, and it controls the air that enters the vehicle’s engine. In an electronically fuel-injected car, there is a throttle position sensor that communicates with the computer. In a fuel-injected engine, the throttle body is located between the air filter and the intake manifold, connected to the accelerator. It opens to increase the air flow to the manifold when the driver moves the pedal down.
A RENCOL® Tolerance Ring is one element of a three-part system, fitted between two mating parts. The ring has corrugations on its surface (called “waves”), which compress to hold everything in position. Each wave acts as a spring: the more it’s compressed, the larger the force it creates. This force holds the mating parts together, and also acts as a torque limiter.
Torque is the force you need to gain rotational movements.
This is a means of preventing damage to components by setting a maximum torque level. The torque is controlled using a slip or disconnect torque limiter, which disengages the parts from the drive shaft if this level of torque occurs.
The torque limiter is set to a specific level of torque, which if exceeded, causes the torque limiter to disengage the driving shaft from the components being driven. A slip torque limiter disconnects the components by slipping, hence its other name, the slip clutch or the overload clutch. A disconnect limiter works by physically disconnecting the drive.
When a set level of torque is reached, the torque limiter slips or disconnects to prevent torque overload. Mechanical overload can cause damage to the driving shaft and the driven parts.
The slip torque limiter (slip clutch) disconnects the components by slipping when a specific level of torque is reached, preventing damage.
Tribology is the science of friction. The term comes from the Greek meaning “rub”, and that’s essentially what we’re studying: the frictional properties of solid surfaces in relative motion. Tribology enables us to better understand the wear processes of materials.
Part of the rack and pinion design in automotive steering. The yoke bearing ensures the link between the rack bar and the pinion to transfer a rotational movement into linear. The yoke bearing has a low-friction NORGLIDE® liner for a smooth and much more consistent steering feel.