Coating That Speeds Up Installation

How do you reduce seal installation time without a complete system re-design and minimize rotational hang up of the seal stack on pump start up? A novel surface treatment might just be the simple solution.

For years, Greene Tweed has been at the forefront of alternate seal technologies in support of the semiconductor industry, including the subfab. One such technology, Enduro LF10 coating, offers an add-on functionality of friction and stiction reduction to existing seal applications.

A large European company was facing difficulties installing dynamic O-rings made of Chemraz® for a large pump application. The cartridge seal needed to be disassembled, cleaned, and rebuilt using grease lubricant for each failed attempt. The customer realized they needed a faster and more reliable installation method without the delay a redesign would require. Challenges weren’t limited to installation of the mechanical seal into the pump; the customer also encountered difficulty installing the seal head onto the sleeve and found it hard to move the dynamic O-ring at start up.

To address these problems, Greene Tweed recommended a low friction solution – Enduro® LF10 coating applied to the o-ring. LF10 is  a PTFE-based, low-friction, precision-applied coating that can be added using proprietary low temperature deposition processes  to various elastomers, plastics, ceramics and metals to change their surface properties. The proprietary coating succeeds by reducing friction and stiction to improve seal performance, increasing lifetime and drive down costs.

To investigate the performance of this O-ring coated with Enduro® LF10, the customer tested friction caused by coated and uncoated O-rings, with and without additional grease (the current solution). The results of the friction test were clear: The O-ring coated with Enduro® LF10 without grease exhibited the lowest friction. By using O-rings coated with Enduro® LF10, the customer could reduce the friction in ungreased mechanical seals to less than half compared to an uncoated O-ring of the same material.

Do you have challenges in tough mechanical environments for which a modified surface could be of benefit? Give us a call and let’s see what GT engineering can do for you.