Reducing noise in steering column splines
In many types of automotive steering systems, the spline is responsible for accommodating the motion from the steering column as it moves separately from the vehicle’s suspension. In unlubricated systems, the steering shaft slides up and down the spline which causes friction and vibration that presents itself to a driver in the form of a audible stick/slip noise. This noise can impact how a driver perceives the quality of a vehicle. While every application is different, we offer proven solutions for automotive steering system manufacturers who experience noise problems in their design.
A synthetic damping grease is often recommended to address noise issues as the correct damping grease will reduce vibration and impart a smooth quality feel to almost any mechanical and electromechanical device. We offer four families of damping grease that are all non-melting, shear-stable, and plastic compatible. Damping greases are often used in automotive and have been formulated to suit a wide range of operating temperatures.
A solution popular with automotive suppliers when faced with steering column spline noise issues is one of our damping grease products called Fluorocarbon Gel 866. This PTFE thickened, light viscosity, synthetic hydrocarbon grease is intended for instruments with gears and sliding movements such as those found in a steering column spline. Fluorocarbon Gel 866 is compatible with plastic components and is also rust-inhibited to protect metal components from oxidation. With an operating temperature of -54 to 125°C, this grease fits the low temperature range requirement of -40°C set by automotive OEMs.
Different Viscosity Options
We have a wide range of damping grease products, the light to medium viscosity Fluorocarbon Gel 866 could work in your steering design but depending on the design, forces and temperature considerations, bear in mind we have other higher viscosity product options. Grease stiffness/viscosity is normally altered by either using a higher viscosity base oil or changing the base oil to thickener ratio. An example would be the Fluorocarbon Gel 868 range which has five viscosity options from Light through to Very Heavy; so consider getting in contact to find out how we can reduce or eliminate the noise is your steering design.
Why not take a look at our article Electric Power Steering (EPS) worm gear lubrication.