Vespel® in Automotive Parts

Automotive Thrust Washer and Bushing Parts Drive Efficiency

Vespel® parts can be used to reduce frictional losses and lower emissions in transmissions.

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DuPontTM Vespel® parts can help vehicle manufacturers meet emissions regulations, fuel efficiency and performance standards with high performance thrust washers, bushings and seal rings.  Vespel® parts help reduce frictional and parasitic losses while maintaining the durability of advanced transmissions.

Meeting tomorrow’s increasing performance challenges requires not only advanced material science, it also requires global collaboration on the details of part design, as well as careful testing under end-use conditions.

Designed for Drivetrain Use

Vespel® parts can help cut energy loss from friction, to make drivelines more efficient, durable, lighter and more robust.

DuPont offers a family of Vespel® parts, including the Vespel® SP-2515 line, which was designed for advanced drivetrain use. SP-2515 parts have a coefficient of thermal expansion close to that of mating metal surfaces, allowing exacting tolerances to be maintained under extremes of temperature variations.

In addition, SP-2515 parts exhibit a low coefficient of friction and excellent wear against aluminum. DuPont test labs have demonstrated that Vespel® SP-2515 parts can provide up to:

  • 50% improvement in measured torque loss on a transmission shaft.
  • 90% reductions in seal ring leak rates, significantly lowering the parasitic losses associated with the transmission oil pump.
  • 80-90% weight reduction, compared to metal needle bearings.

Light and Durable Thrust Washers

Vespel® thrust washer parts can be thinner and lighter than comparable metal thrust needle bearings. Not only are thrust washers themselves thinner, the shafts and housing can be reduced in length by the equivalent amount, helping to significantly reduce the transmission’s overall size and weight.

In addition, Vespel® thrust washers can rotate directly against the aluminum housing, reducing the number of parts, and potentially creating an easier, lower-cost assembly process.

Putting Science to the Test — Proven Advantages

Material characteristics that make Vespel® parts an effective choice for transmission and driveline applications include:

  • Lack of melting point, provides an extra “margin of safety” when lubrication is not available.
  • High limiting PV value (pressure X velocity limit) allows for higher applied loads and spin rates than conventional polymers, under both dry and lubricated conditions.
  • Low- wear rates, even in the presence of contamination or foreign matter, are ideal for hot and dirty environments.
  • Self-lubricating, even in the presence of contamination or foreign matter.  

A History of Performance

For over 40 years, Vespel® parts have been used in the most demanding agricultural, military, truck, bus and passenger vehicle transmissions and driveline applications.

With the backing of DuPont material science, part design expertise and global application testing capability, we’re continuing our tradition of helping our customers meet tomorrow’s ever more stringent vehicle standards.


Lubricated Wear and Friction Application Testing



  • Vespel® Stock Shapes

  • Vespel® Custom Plastic Parts

  • Vespel® S Family

    Vespel® S products are highly durable polyimides used in demanding applications where exceptional thermal resistance (cryogenic to 349°C), low wear and/or low friction, strength and impact resistance are desired as custom parts or stock shapes.

  • Vespel® CR Product Family

    Vespel® CR products provide excellent chemical resistance in refineries and chemical processing. They offer high-creep resistance and easy machinability for wear rings and tight-tolerance parts like ball-valve seats.

  • Vespel® TP Family

    Vespel® TP thermoplastic family offers many products with excellent strength and toughness, dimensional stability, low outgassing, creep resistance, and low coefficient of thermal expansion for aircraft, automotive and industrial applications.

  • Vespel® CP Product Family

    Vespel® CP parts offer an array of fiber or fabric reinforced composites for a range of unique design needs when wear and strength are key. Typically CP parts are used in aircraft bushings, washers, bumpers and seals.

  • Vespel® ASB Assemblies

    Vespel® ASB assemblies include fiber/fabric reinforced composites with metal backing that offer low wear & friction plus self lubrication, and metal-backed carbon-graphites for self-lubricating wear at extreme temperatures.


  • Supporting Sustainable Mobility

  • Low Friction Plastic

    Low friction plastic applications developed in collaboration with DuPont experts can help improve durability and performance, reduce maintenance, and can even contribute to reduced use of fossil fuels.

  • Material Handling Systems & Conveyors

  • Vespel® From metal to plastics

    DuPont™ Vespel® parts offer low friction, lightweight and durable metal replacement in automotive transmission applications.

  • DuPont™ Vespel® Product Families

    Vespel® products are made from a variety of materials (polyimides, thermoplastics, composites and chemically-resistant polymers). These products offer a unique combination of physical properties and design flexibility. Parts are available as custom parts, stock shapes, components or assemblies.