In automobile steering and suspension systems, ball and socket joints are exposed to contaminants(water, sand salt, dirt and others) during their life span. Ball joints use a seal (also known as a boot, or dust cover) to prevent these contaminants from penetrating into its housing.
Penetration by these contaminants will in most cases drastically reduce the useful life of a ball and socket joint. In order to avoid such a condition there have been several efforts made by ball and socket joint manufacturers aiming at improving the performance and reliability of seals (dust covers).
This paper focuses on the development of a ball and socket joint capable of performing adequately after the dust cover has failed and permitted the penetration of contaminants into the interior of the housing. This has generated the development of a ball joint that displays the use of new design features and new materials.
This paper also includes experimental tests results that compare the new ball joint design to the conventional design currently used.