When the topic of polyurethane suspension parts presents itself, Energy Suspension is one of the first names that come to mind for many enthusiasts. It also reminds us of the times that Hollywood has tried to demonize plastics in movies.
One of the most quoted scenes in the 1967 Mike Nichols’ film The Graduate, revolves around the word “plastics.” The central character, a recent college graduate, is encouraged by his father’s friend to go into “plastics.”
Plastics Benjamin. Plastics
This scene was a critical part of the movie because plastics represented everything that was artificial to the “free love” generation. Plastic was used in that scene as a satire against the older way of thinking. What the scriptwriter (Buck Henry) didn’t know was plastics were indeed the future.
Many of today’s college graduates see plastic manufacturing as making exciting, innovative, futuristic, and safer high-tech objects. It has even replaced the paper money we use to buy more items made of plastic. As it turns out, the joke was on the filmmaker, not the audience.
Polyurethane And The Automobile Industry
For the automotive industry, polyurethane has been a godsend. Automobile manufacturers usually supply finished vehicles with rubber bushings in suspension components. This is mostly a choice of cost without sacrificing comfort for daily drivers. Rubber bushings offer a softer ride and less noise than many other materials.
However – and this is the key part – if you are one of those people that like to really feel the road with some spirited driving, rubber bushing are simply not up to the task. They are too soft and allow for unexpected changes in alignment during hard cornering, rapid acceleration, and performance braking. Many argue that stock rubber bushings are even unsafe in a high-performance environment.
As for the environmentalists, rubber bushings wear out faster, especially when exposed to factors like heat, harsh fluids, and UV exposure. Some of the rubber bushings fail–or function poorly–at higher rates when used in higher performance cars. These rubber bushings end up in landfills in greater quantities than poly bushings due to the higher failure rate.
As an example, Energy Suspension’s Hyper-Flex polyurethane bushings resist harsh fluids and chemicals. These bushings do not dry out or dry rot, nor do they crack from heat or UV exposure. Their performance in hard-driving applications stays consistent over time.
How It Is Made
We’ve always loved to pull back the curtains and take a look at how products are made. In the case of Energy Suspension products, the company has a factory-tour video posted on its YouTube channel that explains the process, from start to finish.
If you thought making poly bushings was simply a matter of mixing two chemicals and pouring that mixture into a mold, you would be way off-course. There are a lot more factors to determine the right blend to achieve the end goal. This video walks through the process at the factory.
To get more information on Energy Suspension’s products and what is available on the market, visit them online at energysuspension.com.