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Virtual product development, also referred to as virtual prototyping, is a modern interdisciplinary approach to product development, directed to design of technically the best and cost-most advantageous solutions for customers. Close cooperation with customers and fulfilment of their functional demands and constraints are permanently exhibited.

Virtual prototypes are analysed in computer environment. Use of numerical analyses in advanced softwares Marc, Marc Mentat and Patran leads to decision on optimal structural realization, developed by using the most up-todate 3D CAD tool Creo Elements/Pro. Suitability of choosing different combinations of materials is analyzed and predicted the product response under service conditions. Input data are acquired from customers or by measurements performed in Central Laboratory. Virtual prototyping is a successful alternative to classical way of product design which is based on time- and cost-unfavourable testing and empirical upgrading of physical prototypes.

Virtual environment provides development of the most demanding rubber technical products and solutions for application in the building industry, environmental protection and safety, personal and material transportation, automotive industry, geological research, sealing of media and elsewhere. The majority of rubber technical products and tyres is made of elastomeric composites, which require appropriate approach in all phases of analyses, starting from careful preparation of inputs based on measurements of mechanical properties of constituents in Central Laboratory. The analyses results are verified by measurements of physical quantities (forces, torques, displacements or deformed shapes) and by testing by the customers. Results are presented by diagrams, figures and films.

Some results of numerical analyses of rubber technical products and tyres are presented below. Numerous other products creating product portfolio of Trelleborg Slovenija were analyzed beside these examples. Using this approach we choose the appropriate concept of some production equipment before starting its mechanical design.

Numerical simulations were performed to quantify the stress-strain situation in the contact of various designs of rubberized rolls for the paper industry. The method helped selecting the most appropriate types of elastomeric compounds and thus fulfiling the customer’s functional demands.


Demonstration of deformational field in the contact zone of a rubberized and a steel roll

The shape and rubber type were optimized for a building furniture seal. The surplus value for the client was augmented by the sense of facilitated window shutting and prolonged duration of the seal. The result was confirmed by measurement of the shutting force in accordance with the standard SIST EN 12365/2.


Comparison of closing force before and after the seal cross-section optimization

Within the European research project Safety in Motion, the scooter tyre mechanical response and handling properties were optimized by the use of numerical simulations. Better tyre response was achieved and rider’s active safety was improved, particularly at risky manoeuvres.


3D CAD model of scooter tyre

By analyzing mechanical conditions during ribbed conveyor belt assembly onto the exit conveyor of the mobile cold milling machine and its operation we optimized structure of the belt and its constituents. Based on presentation of the result to the customer we achieved competititve advantage and a higher market share in this segment of highly demanding products with a higher added value.


Principal stress in a ribbed conveyor belt

For more information on possibility of carrying out a project involving virtual product development, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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