Self-lubricating plastic compounds and PFAS: let's make the point

May 22, 2024

Self-lubricating plastic compounds and PFAS: let's make the point

PTFE is a polymer known for its very low coefficient of friction; a characteristic exploited in compounds filled with PTFE powders dispersed in the thermoplastic matrix. These materials, even when reinforced with glass or carbon fibers, maintain low static and dynamic friction coefficients. The tribological performance of PTFE has made these self-lubricating solutions ideal for advanced technologies that require containing harmful phenomena related to friction and wear.

Problems and Risks Associated with Self-Lubricating Compounds with PTFE

However, the use of PTFE-containing self-lubricating compounds involves some drawbacks. These include the formation of deposits on molds, corrosion of equipment, and hazardous fumes produced by the eventual thermal degradation of the fluorinated polymer. In addition, the presence of fluorinated molecules - subject to increasingly stringent regulations due to environmental hazards associated with the disposal of manufactured goods - is an additional problem.


LATI: Innovation with LATILUB, The Alternative to PTFE

LATI has developed a family of self-lubricating thermoplastic compounds belonging to the LATILUB group that provide excellent tribological performance without fluorinated polymers. UHMWPE, an ultra-high molecular weight polyolefin known for its extreme abrasion resistance, was chosen as the first alternative. The results obtained are interesting, even in glass fiber-reinforced formulations. UHMWPE, dispersed in amorphous or semi-crystalline matrices, offers friction coefficients comparable to PTFE, with similar break-in times. Abrasive and adhesive wear is also significantly reduced. Mechanically, there is no noticeable difference between static and impulsive loads. In addition, the lower density compared with PTFE makes these solutions cost-effective.
LATILUBs with UHMWPE are available in reinforced and unreinforced versions and can include additional self-lubricating systems such as silicone oil or aramid fibers, providing thermal performance up to 200°C.


Curious to know more?
From Thursday, May 30, our webinar "Self-lubricating Compounds and PFAS: Let Make the Point" will be available.


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