At Fakuma 2023, Dreyplas will showcase a variety of options for replacing fluoropolymers caught up in the controversy around PFAS with melt-processable UHMW-PE at booth B1-1004 in hall B1. UHMW-PE can be used for molded parts as well as for profiles, sheet products, films and coatings in applications where very low friction and abrasion, depending on the case in conjunction with high chemical resistance, are of primary importance. Dreyplas bases its advice about this versatile resin on Mitsui Chemicals’ products, which are available both as pellets and as powders and micropowders and are also suitable for 3D printing. Dreyplas will continue to offer an extensive range of fluoropolymers for those applications which simultaneously require high temperature resistance.
Highly abrasion-resistant molded parts, extruded sheets, profiles and hoses are some of the applications for LUBMER™ pellets, a self-lubricating, high-impact grade of UHMW-PE suitable for injection molding in both hot runner and tunnel gate systems. Thanks to its food safety and acoustic and electrical insulation properties, potential applications include automotive, electronic, and industrial parts, together with use as a friction-reducing additive in other polyolefins.
MIPELON™ with its spherical, particularly readily dispersible fine particles can be produced with diameters of 10 to 30 μm, whereas the usual dimensions of UHMW-PE powder are 150 to 200 μm. It can thus be an alternative to PTFE for formulating low wear, chemically resistant coatings, where it not only increases abrasion resistance but also reduces the coefficient of friction even more than does PTFE. A further typical application is use as a friction-reducing additive.
Another spherical UHMW powder grade with particle diameters in the range from 120 µm to 160 µm is HI-ZEX MILLION™, which is mainly used for electronic or industrial materials, medical devices, food manufacturing, etc. Its wide range of applications extends from screws, slide rails and gears to battery separators and prostheses. As a friction-reducing blend component, its low density of 930 to 950 kg/m3 helps to reduce product weight.
As Norbert Hodrius, Technical Marketing Director at DREYPLAS explains, “Numerous collaborative projects with customers have demonstrated that, where elevated thermal stability is not essential, it is often possible to do without fluoropolymers In such cases, our alternative is UHMW-PE, which has up to twenty times the abrasion resistance of conventional PE, combined with good chemical resistance, high flexibility and low-temperature impact strength as well as further advantages such as acoustic and electrical insulation and compliance with food safety requirements. In addition, UHMW-PE has good sustainability since all grades are suitable for the PE recycling loop, while its melt processability means low levels of manufacturing waste.”
Sales Manager Markus Geister adds, “If specific requirements mean there is no alternative but to use fluoropolymers, we can supply a wide range of high-performance polymers including PTFE, FEP, PFA, etc. together with comprehensive application engineering know-how to ensure successful use in our customers’ applications.”
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