Plymouth, Mich.—Simrit has developed an advanced surface treatment process to improve seal function and service life. The company’s Reduced Friction by Nanotechnology (RFN) method is one of the newest tools available for enhancing seal performance.
Sealing components made of elastomeric materials have inherently high surface energies (tackiness) and a high coefficient of friction (COF). Therefore, when an elastomeric seal makes contact with the mating component, the interface of the two surfaces can produce a “stiction” effect, which is detrimental when the contact is intermittent. For example, stiction has a significant impact on applications like bicycle shock absorbers, which need to have a low breakaway force for smooth shock function.
To prevent stiction, Simrit created the RFN process, which consists of applying its proprietary surface modification to rubber components to reduce COF. The transformed surface offers high abrasion resistance, low COF, resistance to aggressive fluids and improved long-term service. The RFN treatment is odorless, translucent in color and compatible with applications that require purity. Applications that require low stiction and long service life, such as valve sealing components and diaphragms, can greatly benefit from Simrit’s RFN treatment.
“With nearly 100 years of sealing experience, developing technologies and processes that provide increased consistency and reliability for our customers is a top priority for Simrit,” said David R. Monaco, president, Simrit. “Our pioneering RFN surface treatment has the ability to dramatically improve the longevity and function of elastomeric seals in a variety of applications, including designs that operate in extreme conditions.”
RFN treated surfaces have consistently shown a 70% reduction in static COF, aggressive media resistance and lower torque and loading properties. Additionally, long-term exposure to fuel, ozone and wear have shown no increase in COF in treated surfaces, while non-treated surfaces exhibit an 80% to 100% increase in COF over time. Further, the RFN process doesn’t alter the physical properties of the elastomer and enables the seal to remain flexible to withstand extremely low temperatures, as well as high forces, without cracking.