Trelleborg Sealing Solutions launches Turcon M30 sealing material, which is engineered to withstand and optimize performance against the extremely hard ceramic coatings that are the eco-friendly alternatives to chrome plating of rods in hydraulic aerospace applications. Tests prove that the new compound increases seal life to reduce planned maintenance, extend flight hours and ultimately lower costs.
Turcon M30 Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) based sealing material has been developed after an extensive test program by Trelleborg Sealing Solutions to meet the sealing challenges posed by hard ceramic mating surfaces. It offers unrivaled performance at the higher hydraulic pressures of modern aircraft, now up to 5000 psi, and meets the extended expected working life of actuators of up to 60,000 flight hours or more.
Director of Technology at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Americas, Colin Macqueen, says: “As more and more customers are seeking to eliminate chrome from their processes and components for environmental reasons, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is being asked to provide seals that can be applied against a wide range of alternative surface coatings and treatments.
“Many of these, such as HVOF (High Velocity Oxy-Fuel) applied ceramic coatings, are abrasive and can quickly erode some seal materials. Working together with our customers and the surface treatment providers, Trelleborg identified the need for a new enhanced seal material that can demonstrate long life when working in such applications.
“The result was Turcon M30, which will not only ensure long life with low wear against hard ceramic mating surfaces in hydraulic cylinders and actuators, but will also excel under the ever-increasing pressures seen in today’s aircraft systems.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists chromium as one of the 17 most toxic chemicals. As chromium is classified as carcinogenic, chrome-plated rods in hydraulic cylinders are being replaced with ceramic-coated ones using the High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) process. Chrome is inherently porous so stores lubricant, prolonging the life of seals. The extremely hard, denser surface of tungsten carbide HVOF makes sealing more challenging.
The development program to prove Turcon M30 involved back-to-back testing of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Polyether ether ketone (Victrex PEEK), Polyamide (PA) and Polyethylene (PE) compounds with various fillers. Materials were tested on a 5000 psi test rig and factors including leakage, abrasion and wear were examined.
Turcon M30 is the preferred Trelleborg sealing material for hydraulic applications in aerospace flight controls and landing gear. It has operating temperatures from -196° C to 260° C / -320° F to 500° F and is capable of withstanding pressures up to 35 MPa/ 5000 psi for prolonged periods.