Sponsored By

Specialized Surface Treatments

August 13, 2007

2 Min Read
Specialized Surface Treatments

In a highly competitive market like rubber products, providing an application-specific solution to a system problem proves the supplier’s insight to customer’s requirements — and usually results in increased sales. Rubber suppliers continue to take advantage of this to address new applications. The material design frequently results in integrating a new functionality into the rubber product with a direct benefit to the application. Advanced technology products include a surface treatment to reduce friction that does not dissipate with wear and Class 100,000 clean room manufactured rollers with sticky or tacky surfaces. These two approaches, as well as custom silicone overmolding processes that withstand sterilization, demonstrate the connection rubber suppliers have made to customers.

Rubber Rollers

Using a Class 100,000 clean room facility, Hiawatha Rubber manufactures cleaning rollers from very small up to 16 inches long and 5 inches in diameter. The molded rubber rollers have sticky or tacky surfaces custom-made to meet specific application requirements and remove dust and particulate at critical locations in automated systems. The rollers target applications in medical imaging systems and packaging equipment, as well as automated systems used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, credit cards and photographic film. Material formulation chemistry, CAD tooling, injection-transfer molding, computer numerical control (CNC) grinding and CNC machining of these cleaning rollers facilitates the design-in process and reduces time to market.

Reduced Friction

Providing a surface treatment to reduce friction that does not dissipate with wear, Minnesota Rubber and Plastics F-Treat process targets automotive and appliance applications. Rotary sealing is an ideal use of the technology. The process modifies the surface of most elastomers providing a permanent low coefficient of friction surface. Extending beneath the surface, if abrasion of the elastomer occurs, a modified low-friction surface will always be present. Laboratory studies of a broad range of elastomer materials demonstrate the reduction for the coefficient of friction of F-Treated molded components. Occurring as a reaction with the polymer, the modification provides the most improvement to low hardness, polymer-rich elastomers, such as a 55 Shore A compound.

Silicone Overmolding

Medical devices that require repeated sterilizations and even those for single use procedures can benefit from Minnesota Rubber and QMR Plastics’ custom silicone overmolding processes. Substrate options for overmolding the silicone formulations include stainless steel, aluminum, PEEK and Radel. A proprietary bonding process creates a hermetic seal between the silicone and the overmolded instrument. The bonds withstand repeated autoclaving and inhibit the penetration of body fluids between sealed surfaces. For product differentiation, a full range of durometers, conductive or insulated silicone materials and custom colorization of components are offered. Many of the company’s silicone formulations are USP Class 6 and ISO 10993 implantable grade materials. 

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like