High Performance Thermoplastics for Extreme Off-Road Racing

In the past, lubricated bronze bushings were used as suspension bearings in off-road vehicles. From the small buggies in Baja to large military vehicles, bronze was the answer.

With the advent of high performance thermoplastics and thermoplastic rubber, off road racers started moving away from bronze. The constant grind of dirt, mud, and sand between the pivot shafts and bronze bushings caused many failures when the pivot was not sealed properly. In the grueling desert elements of Baja and the Southwestern United States, a 250 mile race would cause seals to give way and bearings to wear. At each pit stop, race teams would be forced to re-lubricate the bearings as well as fuel and change tires.

In the late 70’s race teams were provided access to alternatives to bronze, cast urethane and a material from Quadrant known as Delrin®. The cast urethane was softer and more forgiving but Delrin® was naturally lubricated. Delrin had the durability to last the race but it too would begin to fail as racers drove faster and demanded more from their suspensions.

Engineers and end users continued to push for solutions that would eliminate the need for lubrication and solve abrasive wear issues. As an answer to this call for action, Quadrant created an extreme bearing material known as Nylatron® NSM.

Many off road race teams and builders of off road vehicles have welcomed Nylatron® NSM as a palpable solution to lubrication and abrasive wear issues.

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Nylatron® NSM

  • PV rating 5 times that of Delrin® (15,000 versus 3,000)
  • bearings can run dry
  • wear factor 20 times better than that of Derlin®
  • suspensions can oscillate at a greater frequency
  • race teams only need to replace their suspension bushing once per year!

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Off road race vehicles using Nylatron® NSM have won many major races; the Baja 500, the “1000”, the Mint 400, and “Vegas to Reno.” Overall class champions in both “SCORE” and “Best in the Desert” use Nylatron® as well. Because of the materials longevity and its ability to take the extreme environment of desert racing, Mason Motorsports, Temecula, CA uses Nylatron® NSM as OEM equipment in all of the off road trucks they build. According to Neal Mason, “At Mason Motorsports, we build quality off road trucks. Overall strength and reliability is our goal. Nylatron NSM is an important component in our suspension. Its strength, lubricity, and reliability are key.”

Engineering Thermoplastics, especially those with performance enhancing fillers, were engineered to thrive in the extreme environments of off road racing. With a broad portfolio of bearing and wear materials, Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products, provides metal to plastic conversion solutions allowing you to outperform the competition.

Click HERE to see Nylatron® NSM suspension bushings in action!

Application Development Manager Tech Services/App Development


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