The Rulon® Material Solution Difference
Why This Polymer Material Matters
By Prasad K.R
The manufacturing industry is rising again despite major labor and supply chain challenges, according to the 2022 manufacturing industry outlook from Deloitte. Manufacturing is vital to our economies and an integral piece of our lives. We rely on critical parts in our machinery and products they make to work optimally. Failure of even one part can be costly, whether from factory downtime and loss of capacity to product contamination, recalls and other adverse effects. Downtime is estimated to cost the manufacturing industry almost $650 billion every year, according to the International Society of Automation.
Simultaneously, many applications pose demanding conditions such as dry and continuous running, exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures with temperature swing, and high friction and wear.
Commonly used in industrial and life science applications, Rulon® fluoropolymers is a versatile high-performance family of proprietary, homogenous filled materials that offers high wear life and low friction. It can withstand harsh conditions such as dry running, aggressive chemicals and abrasion with the ability to operate in extreme temperature and pressure ranges. Many Rulon® materials have been developed over a period of time for specific custom applications since they can be custom designed into bearings, piston rings, cup seals, wear components and other critical parts.
Some examples of Rulon® parts in critical applications include:
Bearings used in industrial pumps, mixers and agitators as well as food and pharmaceutical industries where selecting the bearing material is important since wear and disintegration of this material into formulations can cause contamination
Piston cup seals in industrial flow dispensing meters to measure fuel where any variance results in financial loss to the retailer or consumer and in medical portable oxygen concentrators for sealing precision and lifetime operation
Bonded bearings in aviation jet engine thrust reverser due to low coefficient of friction, resistance to wear, and ability to withstand brief periods of extreme heat
Slide bearings in seismic base isolation systems where a laminated bearing with a sliding mechanism works to absorb strong tremors
Numerous formulations of Rulon® material, including custom grades, are available; however, there are several key grades that will meet most requirements, including:
Rulon® LR material is used in bearing applications due to its particularly high creep and abrasion resistance. It is also ideal for continuous, non-lubricated sliding, rotating, and oscillating applications.
Rulon® 641 material is FDA compliant and the only PTFE-filled material with USP Class VI approval for direct contact with human tissue and fluids. Often used in bearings in pharmaceutical and food industries, it can withstand strict sanitation requirements, is self-lubricating and stain resistant.
Rulon®J material, with one of the lowest levels of coefficient friction in reinforced PTFE materials, is frequently used in start and stop application such as in automotive. It was recently certified for mass transit in trains and aircraft for specific safety requirements for flammability, smoke, and toxicity.
Is Rulon® PTFE the Best Material for Your Application?
The following are key considerations to determine if Rulon® material is right for your application:
Does short or limited life lead to increased maintenance?
If part fails, your system fails.
It needs to perform one or more of the below functions:
Reduce weight without compromising performance
Provide self-lubrication of the part
Sustain very high wear
Withstand extremely high or low-level temperatures
Withstand corrosion from chemicals
How Can You Tell That You Have The “Real” Rulon® Material?
Omniseal Solutions is proud to be the only exclusive developer of Rulon® material since the early 1950s, with the creation of the first blended PTFE material, Rulon® A.
We manufacture the solution in house, ensuring consistent, high-quality standards, starting from testing resin at the plant to ensuring the highest levels of precision monitoring in every step through to the final product for every formulation. Materials are tested for crystallinity, molecular weight, and porosity. Even a slight modification to one of these requirements has the potential to enhance one property yet compromise another; therefore, maintaining strict controls is a priority. Please beware of counterfeit Rulon® suppliers! Our business is the only source of genuine Rulon® material, and we take this material supply responsibility very seriously by keeping stringent control on material management.
At Omniseal Solutions, we have a long history of working with OEMs and developers at organizations to customize Rulon® material and our other polymer solutions for their specific needs. Therefore, we work closely with both global and local customers to understand their challenges and collaborate with them to develop high-performance, polymer solutions to handle future requirements. For example, we made a recent business decision to provide directly as much as possible such as in Italy.
Our precision solutions are used in aviation, infrastructure, and numerous industrial applications as well as challenging space applications that include the International Space Station and Mars Rover Curiosity.
Contact us today to learn more about the Rulon® material.