Self-lubricating plastics are a solution to several operational issues, in all types of industries.
Often used to lower a part’s coefficient of friction, self-lubricating plastics are appreciated for their remarkable ability to reduce the energy required for their movement and the wear on two mechanical parts in contact with one another.
Self-lubricating plastics have many advantages:
- Reduction in equipment maintenance costs
- Significantly extended useful life of mechanical parts
- More lightweight equipment
- Considerable noise reduction
Self-lubricating plastics in short
Self-lubricating plastics are usually placed into two categories: those that self-lubricate naturally and those that need added additives.
Some resins naturally have low coefficients of friction. Then, there are base resins to which different additives are added to make them self-lubricating or to make the most of a very specific feature.
Some plastics don’t naturally self-lubricate. Additives can be added to make them self-lubricating or increase their self-lubrication. This helps raise their wear resistance, make them more slippery or extend their useful life. Additives are added by incorporating several types of lubricants to the base resins during the manufacturing process to reduce the coefficient of friction.
- UHMW-PE with oil or wax added
- Nylon with solid oil, wax or molybdenum added
- Teflon with molybdenum added
Some materials are known for their self-lubricating aspect. These include Teflon Delrin AF, Tivar 88, Tivar 1000, Tivar ESD, Tivar Oil Filled, Tivar Dryslide, Tivar HPV, Tivar CERAM P , Nyloil and Nyloil GX/RX.
Plastics used in medical, sanitary and food processing environments must meet the applicable food safety, cleanliness and hygiene standards. For example, Nyloil FG uses solidified vegetable oil as a lubricant.
Self-lubricating plastics for all industries
Each industry has specific needs. Choosing the right material is important, taking into account such factors as load capacity, operating temperature, environment of use, machinability, dimensional stability and others.
Given each industry’s specific needs, a process assessment and analysis could help identify the problem(s) and find solutions. Let our experts give you their best advice and suggest applications that will meet your operational issues.
After constantly having to change parts, which incurred high maintenance costs and had direct impacts on production, a well-known milk processing company in the greater Québec City area turned to PolyAlto to find an effective and durable solution.
After conducting an extensive analysis of the problem, PolyAlto’s team of experts targeted a self-lubricating plastic that could withstand considerable friction and very high temperatures, nearing 245o Celsius. The result? The company hasn’t had to change a part in the last three months, has had no unplanned downtimes, has required limited maintenance and saved substantially on the cost of the part.
The rapidly growing food sector's stringent quality standards are a good example of self-lubricating plastic’s application in manufacturing processes. Of course, a careful assessment of the part’s use is required to identify the most suitable material.
Thanks to their remarkable qualities, self-lubricating plastics have countless uses and meet several needs. Each material has unique features and it is important to be aware of their properties. A needs assessment is a vital step.
Self-lubricating plastics help improve equipment and process efficiency. Reduce your maintenance costs and extend the useful life of your equipment by opting for durable, superior-quality solutions.