#MATS: Firestone Industrial Products introduces lightweight, long lasting air spring
March 26, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Firestone Industrial Products has launched a new air spring with integrated air-damping system, which the company says is lighter weight and longer lasting than traditional air springs while also providing a smoother ride and...
The new Firestone Industrial Products Airide Integrative Air-Damping System.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Firestone Industrial Products has launched a new air spring with integrated air-damping system, which the company says is lighter weight and longer lasting than traditional air springs while also providing a smoother ride and eliminating the need to dispose of hydraulic fluid.
The Firestone Airide Integrative Air-Damping System was showcased at the Mid-America Trucking Show, after being tested in Freightliner and Paccar vehicles, Graham Brookes, division manager, technology with Firestone Industrial Products said in an interview with Trucknews.com.
He said the new air spring was designed with the driver in mind and built with new materials that better dampen road inputs into the cab.
“We changed a lot of the materials and lowered the stress on some of the elements within the construction,” Brookes said. The materials used to create the Firestone Airide Integrative Air-Damping System are more resistant to heat, which is important since today’s aerodynamic cabs deflect air flow away from components while emissions reducing technologies create a hotter environment for components.
By improving the materials, Brookes said the new air spring now lasts twice as long as traditional designs. It was tested to 50 million cycles, while the industry norm is one million, Brookes said, and it was still going strong when testing was halted.
“We thought 50 million was a good achievement and it still wasn’t completely worn out,” he said.
The weight savings translate to about 2.5-3.5 lbs per module, he added, since the integrated design does away with the mounting hardware required for separate hydraulic dampers. Initially available on Freightliner and Paccar trucks, the new system will come at a slight cost premium, Brookes admitted, but with its long life and weight savings he said the cost will be negated.
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