When is a Low Friction Lining (LFL) required?
A Low Friction Lining is required in a variety of components such as electromagnetic solenoids, actuators, sliding roof systems and printer fuser roll pressure pads to minimise the force required to move one item against another static surface. This is driven by the need to make these devices more energy efficient by reducing the level of friction.
The use of such LFLs therefore means lower power consumption, more consistent movement forwards and backwards with minimum hysteresis or “slip-stick” effects. Additionally, it is important in certain applications to minimise the noise level generated by the movement and to perform consistently even at elevated temperature up to 200°C/390°F or higher and throughout the full lifetime of the device.
What is a Low Friction Lining?
It is a lightweight, flexible alternative to metallic and polymeric coatings and in some cases even rigid bearings that enables weight and space savings.Indeed, in some cases these LFLs result in longer lasting performance and more economic solutions than nickel or chrome plated parts.
In essence, a Low Friction Lining is a composite of fluoropolymer, (typically PTFE), and reinforcing fabric that acts as linear glide bearing surface.It provides highly reliable low friction properties over large numbers of cycles even at elevated or freezing temperatures with minimum impact on the device in terms of extra thickness or added weight.
The CHEMFAB® Solution
When should I use a CHEMFAB® Low Friction Lining?
These products are an important alternative for design engineers and can potentially replace messy greases, oils or lubricants that will wear out or need frequent “topping-up." They can also replace metallic coatings such as stainless steel, electroless nickel or chrome (expensive & difficult to get in consistent quality) and polymeric coatings such as PTFE on steel and often consumed before the device has reached its expected lifetime.
Furthermore, CHEMFAB LFLs are an alternative to other polymeric bearings e.g. polypropylene or polyamide, which have a limited application range and are restricting design features due to the nature of the base polymers. When the application conditions require consistently low or controlled friction performance at elevated temperatures, minimum hysteresis or noise generation, long term compatibility with oils and chemical additives, then CHEMFAB Low Friction Linings are an excellent design option.
The ability to tailor these products which are inherently transparent to electrical signals and to meet specific requirements, such as high electrical insulation or static dissipation, means they are a flexible solution in the design of many electro-mechanical parts.
How do CHEMFAB® Low Friction Linings work?
This depends ultimately on the application which may vary from a flat linear surface in the case of car sunroof track systems to cylindrical sleeves in high pressure, fast reaction electromagnetic solenoids.
The key benefit comes back to reduced friction which enables the consistent movement of parts with low energy consumption due to the durable easy-slide, self-lubricating, low friction surface. These LFLs maintain reliable performance over the device lifetime while minimising the extra weight and dimensional burden that often come with alternative materials.
What are the benefits of using CHEMFAB® Low Friction Linings?
In addition to allowing repetitive smooth and consistent movement of parts with low energy consumption, the key advantages of LFLs are the lightweight and flexible form of these linings and the ensuing simplification of component design. The durability of the Low Friction Linings in a range of environments also reduces waste in manufacturing operations and improves the ultimate performance in the day-to-day use of many electro-mechanical parts.
What are the benefits of CHEMFAB® Low Friction Linings versus other Low Friction Solutions?
These CHEMFAB Low Friction Linings are a permanent easy slide surface and will work consistently through a wide range of temperatures from -150 to + 260°C/ -235 to + 500 °F and are compatible with most chemicals. They are not consumed like oils or lubricants so do not need replacement and also eliminate the risk of contamination of other parts.
They have enabled consistently lower hysteresis levels in a range of electromagnetic solenoid designs and reduced noise in sunroof shade sliding applications. In the case of high speed printers, the use of these linings ensures reliable long term performance with minimum energy consumption. They have high dielectric strength which enables their use as coil linings in superconducting magnets and as sleeves on high performance electrical sliprings.