Faster machining of seals in high grade polymers

Paul Boughton
The latest series of standalone machine systems for the manufacture of precision machined seals from SKF, is providing even faster service in the delivery of customised seals in exceptionally high grade polymers.  

These materials, which have all been developed by SKF, are helping to cut costs for OEMs and end users alike across many different applications by providing outstanding resistance to heat, chemicals and a range of other challenges.

SKF seals are manufactured from advanced engineering plastics, including PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), HNBR (hydrogenated acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) and FKM (fluoro-rubber).  Through close co-operation with SKF, engineering companies can discover and commission the optimal, tailor-made sealing solution for their needs.

PTFE is a thermoplastic polymer that offers superior chemical resistance to that of any other material used in conventional seals.  The operating temperature of PTFE extends from -70°C to 200°C and in some applications can reach 260°C.  The polymer has a smooth, dirt resistant surface, an extremely low coefficient of friction, with the ability to tolerate dry running, and offers greater resistance to wear and deformation than conventional seal materials.

HNBR is used to produce seals for applications where aliphatic hydrocarbons, such as propane or butane and mineral oils and greases, or sulfonated crude oils are present.  It is also suitable for use with many diluted acids, bases, salt solutions and even in high temperatures and glycol water mixtures.

FKM combines outstanding levels of resistance towards heat, chemicals, ageing and ozone, with minimal gas permeability.The material has exceptionally good wear characteristics, even under harsh environmental conditions, and can withstand operating temperatures of up to 200°C.
Other high performance materials are available, such as FDA compliant elastomers and polyurethanes, along with expert application advice from the SKF regional centres.

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