Saint-Gobain Seals Group has recently launched a new grade, Meldin® 5530, which belongs to their Meldin® HT thermoplastics product line, and has been specifically created for tribological applications -- in particular for moving components in applications where friction and wear rate at contact points are significant parameters for consideration. The grade complements the Seals Group’s extensive offering of high-performance materials developed for similar applications for bearings, rotors, gears, thrust washers and piston rings.
Tribology plays an important role in manufacturing. Controlled wear on components limits their replacement, which translates into consequent savings deriving both by fewer number of parts needed during the lifetime of the equipment as well as number of production stops for maintenance operations. Friction is also a key parameter; when high, it increases the power that is needed to operate a piece. The potential savings offered by materials with improved tribological properties are therefore significant.
Material development of the Meldin® 5530 grade included rigorous wear and friction testing, conducted internally at well-equipped laboratories at different Saint-Gobain Seals Group site locations. There are many factors that influence the behavior of tribological applications such as pressure and speed, type of motion, environment (dry or lubricated), temperature and mating surface (type of material, finish and hardness). Thorough testing provides a good indication of wear and friction ranges as well as PV limits that characterize the different materials analyzed and therefore, can be used when designing parts out of these materials (see charts below).
The behavior of the new Meldin® 5530 grade is exceptional in terms of both reduced friction and wear and in line with polyimide or polyimide-amide compounds, even under dry conditions, which translates into extended service life and lower risk of failure for the systems in which the parts are installed. Due to these high-performance properties, Meldin® 5530 material represents an excellent choice for parts like rotors and gears (see image at right) but also thrust washers and piston rings when conditions are too demanding for the Seals Group’s other well-known and established grades, Meldin® 5330, 5350 and 5055.