Fighting friction

Sept. 13, 2007
High heat from excessive friction often causes lubricating waxes in fluoroelastomer (FKM) polymers to evaporate.

This can result in wear and premature failure of parts used in automobiles and appliances. But an "F-Treat" surface modification process from Minnesota Rubber and Plastics Minneapolis, reportedly creates a permanent low coefficient of friction surface on FKM elastomers that won't wear away.

Before F-treated FKM elastomers, the only option has been topical modification of coatings including molybdenum disulfide, graphite, silicone oil, or PTFE powder. The drawback to these coatings is that they wash from the FKM surface.

F-Treating, by comparison, creates a permanent low coefficient of friction surface that also forms beneath molded surfaces of FKM elastomers. This helps prevent abrasions from wearing away the low friction surface. The process is a permanent chemical modification of the polymer and dramatically improves low-hardness elastomer (i.e., 55 Shore A) performance.

Minnesota Rubber and Plastics, (952) 927-1400, www.mnrubber.com

F-Treatments create a permanent low coefficient of friction surface and doesn't affect FDA approvals of appropriate compounds.

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