please stop the squeak in my car
July 4, 2011 11:45 PM   Subscribe

we have two plastic parts in a motor vehicle, both made of polypropylene GF20. when the car drives on rough track a squeak noise is created. we are doing everything in design we can to avoid movement between the two parts. but regarding the plastics, is there a typical engineering method used to prevent the parts squeaking when rubbing against each other?
posted by edtut to Science & Nature (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Silicone lubricant? I don't know if this is compatible with polypropylene, but it's the standard "make squeaking stop" lubricant for vinyl and rubber.
posted by zippy at 12:13 AM on July 5, 2011

Stainless steel shim?
posted by flabdablet at 12:48 AM on July 5, 2011

Some sort of lubricant, certainly. Powdered graphite is another possibility. There are also lubricants made from teflon. Or you could use a teflon shim.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:56 AM on July 5, 2011

Is anyone making dry lubricants out of fullerenes yet?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:58 AM on July 5, 2011

PTFE shim? Do the mating surfaces have some sort of registration shapes on their mating surfaces to keep them from shifting? How are you so sure that these 2 parts are the source of the noise?
posted by jon1270 at 3:52 AM on July 5, 2011

You can buy sheets of teflon in different thicknesses. Or a rubber bushing of some kind?
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:58 AM on July 5, 2011

My car has a strip of felt-like stuff on the edges of the dash "skin" that prevents squeeks between it and the "hull" of the main dash.

If one piece clips into the other, and the clip can't be made tight enough to stop the squeeking, try loosening up the clip and placing a ring of closed cell epdm foam around the ring like a gasket.
posted by gjc at 6:29 AM on July 5, 2011

Nylon washers or shims are durable (and inexpensive!) and will eliminate the squeaking.
posted by tmt at 6:48 AM on July 5, 2011

I'd go with PTFE shim or if that's too thick, use a UHMW polyethylene tape.
posted by buzzv at 10:10 AM on July 5, 2011

thanks for all of the answers. i was hoping for something material specific, as this is a production car. adding lubrication is what we do currently, but it is at a cost - and also it is an unreliable manual operation so car makers dont like that sort of stuff.
posted by edtut at 10:44 PM on July 5, 2011

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