A new generation of polymers lubricated with a proprietary PTFE formulation exhibit improved wear resistance, especially at high loads, compared with conventional materials. The high-performance Luvocom XTF compounds have been introduced by Lehvoss North America (Pawcatuck, CT), a subsidiary of global chemicals company Lehmann & Voss, to meet increased requirements for high pressure, increased load and elevated temperatures.
"By substituting standard PTFE additives with our proprietary lubricant and optimizing our processing technology, we have been able to substantially elevate wear resistance performance with these new compounds," explained Robert Healy, Market Development Manager, Lehvoss North America, in a news release. "This new material technology is opening up opportunities in automotive, industrial, and oil and gas market applications as well as precision-machined components via stock shapes."
Unlike traditional PTFE-modified compounds that may lack performance and wear resistance at high loads, Luvocom XTF compounds significantly improve wear resistance and provide low coefficient of friction while preserving mechanical performance, says Lehvoss. Short running-in behavior at startup is one of the benefits.
"OEMs like to have a short running-in phase," said Healy. "Otherwise, their customers can experience a major disruption, or even a failure, in a dynamic system."
An additional benefit is reduced material deposition in tool cavities during injection molding. "Because of the improved mechanical properties, the specially formulated PTFE doesn't separate from the polymer during the injection molding process," said Healy.
The first compounds in the Luvocom XTF series are based on polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymer. Under high loads, PEEK compounds with XTF modification exhibit 50% less wear than unreinforced PEEK and 80% less wear than PEEK modified with 15% standard PTFE. "For example, in combination with aramid fibers, Luvocom XTF provides superior wear resistance while still showing robust mechanical properties in addition to a low coefficient of friction," added Healy.
Other polymer formulations are in development.