For decades, the motorsport industry has been running smoothly thanks to, in part, a steady supply of specialist rubber products that are built to withstand extreme road performance. But just how does a rubber gasket help to power this multi-billion-pound industry, and how does this material stand up to such intense use?
Automotive rubbers and seals
The motorsport industry requires automotive rubbers and seals that are specifically crafted to withstand heavy use. Rubber to metal bonded parts, anti-vibration products and sealing products all form the backbone to this business – as without these humble products, motorsport vehicles simply would not perform. The supplier or manufacturer of these products should be aware of the unique requirements of this industry, such as the ability to exclude dust, be of a lightweight build and hold aerodynamic geometries.
The nature of Formula 1 requires the material to withstand a high temperature, have a high tear resistance and low friction properties, and be resistant to oil and fuel. The often-complex requirements of automotive seals and gaskets rely upon technical teams and manufacturers of rubber products to be able to react and innovate in order to fulfil demanding applications.
The changing FIA regulations ensure that engineers throughout the supply chain of this industry must keep up with evolving priorities, whilst maintaining safety, comfort, race duration and balance.
The nature of Formula 1 requires the material to withstand a high temperature, have a high tear resistance and low friction properties.
Cutting edge specialist rubber
There are some rubber manufacturers in the industry who are always working behind the scenes on new, cutting edge projects where extreme road performance is required. These specialist rubber components and products offer the capability to deliver high quality and aesthetically pleasing rubber parts to the Formula 1 industry, and other specialist motorsport industries.
Rubber manufacturers who work closely with the F1 may also provide technical support with material and tooling development, as well as design affirmation and performance information of rubber components, prior to delivering the actual products.
In the ever-growing market for "Special Vehicles" this attention to detail is key to keeping the F1 industry run smoothly.