Vespel® in Automotive Parts

Automotive Thrust Washer and Bushing Parts Drive Efficiency

Vespel® parts can be used to reduce frictional losses and lower emissions in transmissions.

DuPontTM Vespel® parts can help vehicle manufacturers meet emissions regulations, fuel efficiency and performance standards with high performance thrust washers, bushings and seal rings.  Vespel® parts help reduce frictional and parasitic losses while maintaining the durability of advanced transmissions.

Meeting tomorrow’s increasing performance challenges requires not only advanced material science, it also requires global collaboration on the details of part design, as well as careful testing under end-use conditions.

Designed for Drivetrain Use

Vespel® parts can help cut energy loss from friction, to make drivelines more efficient, durable, lighter and more robust.

DuPont offers a family of Vespel® parts, including the Vespel® SP-2515 line, which was designed for advanced drivetrain use. SP-2515 parts have a coefficient of thermal expansion close to that of mating metal surfaces, allowing exacting tolerances to be maintained under extremes of temperature variations.

In addition, SP-2515 parts exhibit a low coefficient of friction and excellent wear against aluminum. DuPont test labs have demonstrated that Vespel® SP-2515 parts can provide up to:

  • 50% improvement in measured torque loss on a transmission shaft.
  • 90% reductions in seal ring leak rates, significantly lowering the parasitic losses associated with the transmission oil pump.
  • 80-90% weight reduction, compared to metal needle bearings.

Light and Durable Thrust Washers

Vespel® thrust washer parts can be thinner and lighter than comparable metal thrust needle bearings. Not only are thrust washers themselves thinner, the shafts and housing can be reduced in length by the equivalent amount, helping to significantly reduce the transmission’s overall size and weight.

In addition, Vespel® thrust washers can rotate directly against the aluminum housing, reducing the number of parts, and potentially creating an easier, lower-cost assembly process.

Putting Science to the Test — Proven Advantages

Material characteristics that make Vespel® parts an effective choice for transmission and driveline applications include:

  • Lack of melting point, provides an extra “margin of safety” when lubrication is not available.
  • High limiting PV value (pressure X velocity limit) allows for higher applied loads and spin rates than conventional polymers, under both dry and lubricated conditions.
  • Low- wear rates, even in the presence of contamination or foreign matter, are ideal for hot and dirty environments.
  • Self-lubricating, even in the presence of contamination or foreign matter.  

A History of Performance

For over 40 years, Vespel® parts have been used in the most demanding agricultural, military, truck, bus and passenger vehicle transmissions and driveline applications.

With the backing of DuPont material science, part design expertise and global application testing capability, we’re continuing our tradition of helping our customers meet tomorrow’s ever more stringent vehicle standards.


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