Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies introduces new generation of polyurethane
that sets new sealing standards
PLYMOUTH, Mich., Dec. 5, 2013
PLYMOUTH, Mich., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Freudenberg-NOK Sealing
Technologies is introducing a new generation of polyurethane that is expected
to set new standards for the sealing industry. The polyurethane was developed
for a wide array of uses and the new standard material is more resistant to
water and withstands major temperature fluctuations than existing
"This is the best polyurethane for seals that has ever reached the market,"
said Dr. Jurgen Hieber, a developer at Freudenberg's Schwalmstadt, Germany
Polyurethane is primarily known as foam for door frames and mattresses and is
also frequently used in paints and adhesives. In keeping with the slogan
"often invisible, always essential," polyurethane is important for the
production of seals that perform tasks under especially severe conditions.
Along with excellent resistance to ozone, it has four times the robustness of
elastomers. It also effectively withstands exposure to mineral fluids.
Polyurethane seals are primarily used in heavy-duty machinery such as
excavators and tractors. Freudenberg's development of its own materials is an
important core competency for the company.
"We produce the basic materials for our seals ourselves so we are not
dependent on suppliers," said Mathias Burkert, a Freudenberg Sealing
Technologies product manager in Schwalmstadt. "We have succeeded in
manufacturing a basic material for seals with a far longer operating life than
the current materials used."
The usage spectrum for the new polyurethane ranges between -40°C and +120°C.
This was made possible by a specific modification of the polyurethane
components responsible for its temperature characteristics. It resulted in the
new material's particularly favorable viscoelastic behavior. In practice, this
means that seals made from the material stay flexible at low temperatures and
sufficiently stable at high temperatures. In this way, development engineers
take changing market requirements into account.
This new generation of polyurethane seals is especially well-suited to
construction and agricultural machinery, as well as materials-handling
equipment which require high-performance materials that allow far longer
periods of operation.
"We have achieved the objectives of being more robust and lasting longer,"
Common parts, which are universally usable and help to lower costs, are
mandatory for new designs. The new polyurethane generation is a universally
usable material that fulfills these requirements. Until now, manufacturers
often had to store different versions of components such as hydraulic
cylinders, depending on the location around the globe where they were due to
be used and on the medium that the hydraulic system employed.
"Today construction equipment is developed for global use. Seals must function
in the Arctic as well as the desert and perform their tasks reliably for
years," Burkert said. "The new generation of polyurethane is designed
precisely for such requirements."
"The new material is superior to other polyurethanes in all relevant areas,"
said Hieber, who has worked at Freudenberg since 1996. "It offers superb
performance in heat and cold, can be used in mineral hydraulic fluids at up to
120°C, and is safe from damage due to hydrolysis even when used in water
heated to 80°C."
While conventional standard polyurethanes often give way after several months
of operation under these conditions, the new mixture lasts many times longer
and ensures the capacity of the equipment to do its job. But the material is
also a genuine high performer when it comes to pressure.
In a comparison test with various extrusion gaps at 40 megapascals and 100°C,
seals with the new generation of polyurethane show no appreciable sign of
wear, while conventional seals malfunction prematurely. Its tensile strength
also far surpasses current possibilities measuring around 25 megapascals, or
35 percent above other materials.
"As a result, we can apply much more pressure on the cylinders than we could
previously," Hieber said.
Experts at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies were able to double extrusion
stability under high pressures. This ensures the avoidance of damage from any
pressure peaks, which can be particularly evident in highly stressed equipment
such as construction machinery. This is good news for the sealing specialist's
customers. They can rely on a product that meets the highest technical demands
and allows long, maintenance-free operating cycles — under the world's
toughest operating conditions.
"We expect our product to last three to four times longer than the others,"
About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between
Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a
leading producer – through its Automotive, Merkel, Process Seals and Simrit
sales channels – of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets
including: aerospace; agriculture; appliance; automotive; construction;
diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical.
Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership,
Freudenberg-NOK is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20
facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit
SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies
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