Supplier company Toyoda Gosei says it has established material technology for rubber that readily regains its shape even after force has been applied for long times at high temperatures.

The elasticity of rubber deteriorates when it is compressed for long times at high temperature, resulting in permanent distortion that affects sealing performance. The tradeoff for rubber with strong elasticity has been that it becomes stiff and difficult to stretch, and the difficulty in assembly or installation of such rubber is a problem when it is used for sealing parts.

Toyoda Gosei has optimised the rubber mix design with a new selection of chemicals that contribute to heat resistance, and established rubber material formulation technology that makes the rubber twice as likely to regain its shape (permanent distortion from compression was about half that of previous materials in in-house tests) while also giving it a stretching performance allows stretching to more than four times the original shape. This technology received an award at the 71st Rubber Technology Advancement Awards sponsored by the Society of Rubber Science and Technology, Japan.

This new technical development promises to contribute to sealing parts that are thinner, lighter, and have longer lives for use in the battery units and other parts of next-generation vehicles (electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, fuel cell vehicles), which demand long-term durability.