In this study, response surface methodology and desirability function approach (DFA) were used to optimise the vulcanisation process of elastomeric bearings to obtain better quality products. For this purpose, compressive stiffness and vertical deflection under maximum load were determined as response variables with a target at 198 kN/mm and 3.46 mm, respectively, in accordance with customer’s request.
Time, temperature and pressure were considered as control variables of the process. Experimental combinations were determined using Box–Behnken design and two repetitions were made in each combination. The experimental design was randomised for removing bias and other uncontrollable sources of extraneous variation. As a result of the statistical analysis, linear, quadratic, and interaction effects of factors on response variables were obtained. For simultaneous optimisation of multiple responses, the DFA was used and optimum factor levels were obtained. Finally, the optimum conditions were verified by confirmation experiments.
Elastomeric bearing Vulcanisation process Response surface methodology Box–Behnken design Desirability function approach
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