Self-lubricating materials and industrial automation

Feb. 5, 2015

Self-lubricating materials and industrial automation

Lowering friction coefficient and increasing wear resistance as much as possible: these are the goals set by Saroplast to replace sintered metal in a very critical application in the field of industrial automation.

The involved item is a claw system for anthropomorphic robots used for item handling.

The large number of operations performed by the robot actually represents a stress that in the conventional metal device results in a clear erosion of the contact surfaces of the claw.

So the claw was completely re-engineered by using a self-lubricating technopolymer instead of sintered material: LATILUB 66-10T Y/15.

This PA66 based compound offers not only a very low friction coefficient due to the 10 percent PTFE content in its formulation, but also the excellent wear resistance typical of aramid fibers, therein contained to the extent of 15 percent.

Both in contact with the metal and other synthetic materials, PTFE and aramid fiber reinforced LATI compounds prove the best candidates to solve all the wear issues related to adhesion phenomena, as between plastics, and to abrasion, which often occurs in contact with metals, composites or reinforced compounds.

Besides, the use of LATILUB 66-10T Y/15 was not a compromise neither as regards mechanical performance nor dimensional stability.

Plastic claws are, in fact, as accurate and resistant as the metal ones, as well as being quieter and overall more cost efficient.

About the longevity of the self-lubricating compound solution, it is worth mentioning that the maintenance interval of the gripper increased from four weeks to .... never!

LATI offers a wide range of self-lubricating compounds for injection molding, specially designed for the most various uses and stresses.

The same solution with PTFE and aramid fibers is also based on other resins, such as PPS, POM, PPA, and PEEK to meet the most demanding market requirements.

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