MILAN, Ohio—Automotive supplier Tenneco Inc. is planning to continue expanding its material testing lab at its Milan technical center through 2019.
The company's Clevite Elastomers brand, which licenses Endurica L.L.C.'s fe-safe/Rubber software, will grow its material testing lab in the neighborhood of double its current size, said Steve Pohlman, Tenneco vice president and general manager of global elastomers.
"The biggest thing we have out here is mainly the Endurica lab," Pohlman said. "They're doing a good job with it and we're going to continue to invest in it. Our customers are very happy with it."
The materials testing lab runs tests to feed into the Endurica software, used to determine the fatigue life of rubber products, said Joshua Goossens, elastomer materials engineering manager for Tenneco.
"What's unique about Endurica is that, for many materials like steel, aluminum, various plastics, you've been able to simulate the fatigue life of products made from those materials for many years," Goossens said. "But the base science in understanding rubber fatigue, all the components of the various scientific theories were not put together until a gentleman, while doing his Ph.D., wrapped it all up and solved how to have a finite element solution for rubber fatigue."
The software uses critical plane analysis to give predictions until complex load cases, and includes testing methods and instrumentation to measure rubber fatigue in simulation. The data fed into the software requires new material tests, some new to Tenneco as of a few years ago, and some new to the industry entirely, Goossens said.
One of those tests uses an intrinsic strength analyzer, the first of its kind, which directly measures the force to break down the polymer chain, Goossens said.