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Frank Abraham

Frank Abraham

School of Marine Science and Engineering, United Kingdom

Title: Elastomeric component design and production guidelines based on materials research


Frank Abraham is the Associate Head of the School of Marine Science and Engineering at Plymouth University, UK. He is responsible for the Mechanical & Marine Engineering subject group and oversees the Civil and Coastal Engineering group as well. As an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Marine Engineering he is teaching in the fields of Engineering Design, CAD and Materials as well as leading research and development projects. He has conducted several state and industrial funded projects in different fields. He has previously worked as a Senior Lecturer at Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering (now School of Engineering) at the University of Portsmouth, UK. His previous employments include, Postdoctoral Researcher Department Engineering Sciences, University of Oxford, UK, Tutorial Lecturer at St Anne’s College and St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, UK, as well as Post-doctoral Researcher at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Dundee, UK; Post-doctoral Researcher at the ACC, Automotive Competence Centre of the Hochschule Heilbronn, Heilbronn, Germany; Researcher at the German Institute of Rubber Technology, Hannover and Researcher at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, Germany.


The design of dynamically loaded elastomeric (rubber) components is difficult and very different from metal component design. Elastomers exhibit a strong nonlinear behaviour which has to be taken into account to enable an optimum design. Materials research into elastomers has been carried out over the last decades and many of the non-linear effects have been described. Unfortunately, this knowledge has not yet trickled down to the engineering designers working in companies. This talk highlights the most important non-linear elastomeric behaviours and explains how to overcome problems and even use these unique effects. For example, an increase in minimum load, with corresponding increased maximum loads, results in a longer service life of dynamically loaded components by a factor of up to 100. The dynamic crack propagation can be reduced by more than a factor of 2000, with increasing minimum loads for active filled elastomers. The use of material properties tested at service condition and not standard lab condition (tensile tester) dramatically increases the accuracy of Finite Element Analyses simulations. The combination of simple lab tests in combination with theoretical calculations enables the simulation of real road of passenger car tyres.