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Vehicle Steering System Solutions

A driver's safety and comfort is dependent on the steering system in place. In this article, we explore vehicle steering system manufacturing and our top recommended solutions for this application.

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vehicle steering system solutions

Vehicle Steering System Manufacturing

Vehicle steering systems are used for controlling and manoeuvring the direction of a vehicle by the driver.

A steering system effectively manufactured with the right products will benefit the vehicle through increased fuel efficiencies, easier handling and a noiseless, smooth steering experience.

The annual global vehicle steering systems market is estimated to reach a value of £36 billion by 2025, growing at a rate of 5.4%. The increase in automotive ownership globally mainly accounts for this growth. In addition, the advantages posed by better steering systems also increase the demand for more optimised, innovative steering systems.

The demand for steering systems has further surged due to the introduction of power steering systems, which incorporate hydraulics and electronics to improve handling.

Main Vehicle Steering System Components

Vehicle steering systems are comprised of the following main components:

Steering Wheel

The steering wheel acts as a control wheel to steer the vehicle by the driver. It’s important that it is comfortable to hold, resistant to sweat and temperatures, and made of a durable material.

Steering Column

The steering column connects the steering wheel to the vehicle wheels, enabling steering. It is typically comprised of ball joints, drag link, steering arm, a pitman arm, spindle, tie rod and kingpin assembly.

Gearbox / Rack and Pinion Actuators

The steering gearbox contains a series of gears that connect the steering wheel and steering column to the wheels, enabling steering.

A commonly used gearbox mechanism is the rack and pinion – a type of actuator that connects a circular gear to a linear gear. This is a key mechanism in converting the rotational motion of the steering wheel into the linear motion that turns the wheels.

Joints, Rods & Arms

Ball joints, steering shafts, idler arms and tracking rods are all essential components within steering systems that connect other components together. As the functions of the components depend on each other, the joints, rods and arms must be adequately cared for to ensure the high performance of the steering system.

Hydraulic Systems

Power steering systems utilise hydraulic systems to provide a better steering experience. Hydraulic systems are comprised of pumps, motors, actuators, valves and a reservoir filled with hydraulic fluid.

Common Failures & Problems in Vehicle Steering Systems

Common failure points in vehicle steering systems range from:

  • Rattling/vibrations in the steering wheel: can offset vehicle handling; commonly caused by worn steering components, damaged rims or out-of-balance wheel assemblies.
  • Stiff electric steering: commonly caused by damaged wiring, fuses, terminals or battery voltage level.
  • Steering system leaks: can lead to stiff handling; commonly caused by pump malfunctions, worn-out components, blocked hoses or contamination.
  • Off-centre steering: commonly caused by damaged or bent threaded connections or steering components.
  • Squeals and noisy steering: commonly caused by problems in belts and pulley systems, such as cracks, wear or debris contamination.

Improper manufacturing and maintenance of vehicle steering components, without the use of high-performance lubricants and anti-corrosives, is a major cause of these problems.

Reliable Solutions for Vehicle Steering Systems

Adhesives, sealants and lubricants can provide many unique advantages when used in vehicle steering systems. These advantages include:

  • Reduced weight – increasing energy efficiency of the steering system; more compact.
  • Optimised temperature regulation – optimised performance across wide temperature ranges and prevention of overheating.
  • Protection from friction and wear – increasing durability.
  • Protection from oxidation, corrosion and hazardous chemicals – increasing durability.
  • Protection from water, humidity and environmental factors – increasing durability.
  • Reduced vibrations and rattles – improved user experience and reduced chance of distractions.
  • Reduced noise – improving user experience and comfort
  • Increased load-carrying capability – can handle heavier forces without damage.
  • Ability to bond various dissimilar materials – metals, composites, plated surfaces, etc.
  • Keeping key components clean – lubricants can wash away contaminants, avoiding damage to components.
  • Resistance to dynamic pressure changes and operating pressures – increasing durability.
  • High impact resistance and structural strength – increasing durability.

As a result of these advantages, manufacturers utilising these solutions will reduce downtimes and maintenance and repair costs, while improving quality, safety and performance.

Here we explore our top adhesives, sealants and lubricants for vehicle steering systems:

MOLYKOTE ® G-1074 is a PAO grease that has successfully provided durable lubrication in gearboxes of vehicle suspension and steering systems. It provides noise-reduction capabilities, a wide operating temperature range, and good oxidative stability. It can also be used in sliding guides, chassis, brakes and bearings within vehicles.

Molykote D-7708 is an anti-friction coating that can be used on metal/metal and metal/plastic pairings within the steering column. It provides excellent corrosion protection and a low coefficient of friction. Its glossy black appearance makes it a suitable choice for automotive applications.

Molykote AG-633 is a PAO grease that can be used for plastic parts within the motor screws in steering systems. It exhibits no negative effect on electric contacts due to its non-silicone composition. It also provides good compatibility with most plastics.

Molykote G-1068 is a PAO grease that can be used for actuators and motor screws within the steering column. It provides compatibility with most plastics, excellent load-carrying capability and a wide service temperature range.

BETAFORCE™ provides high-performance bonding in lightweight multi-material vehicles. BETAFORCE™ composite bonding adhesive enables significant weight reduction, acoustic performance and corrosion protection. In addition to functional benefits, they also allow high design flexibility during the manufacturing process.

Krytox lubricants have also been used to improve NVH (noise, vibration, hardness) characteristics and reduce noise in cars. They are easy to apply, operable in a wide temperature range, resistant to external factors and extremely compatible with most metals in automotive applications.

Our automotive adhesives, sealants and lubricants have been successfully used in bearings, motors, vehicle engines and powertrains, suspension systems, leaf springs, chassis bonding, and locks and levers.

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