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Within this discipline we look at the relationship between the structure of materials, their properties, how processing changes them and how the materials will perform in an application.
Our research and development services include:
- Over 1,600 active rubber compounds
- Custom formulating in our on-site materials laboratory
- Compound testing for product applications and their environments
- Comprehensive R&D for formulation control, new material development, supplier/material evaluations and approvals
- An R&D center which ensures optimization of mixing/compounding methods in production
- An advanced laboratory performing extensive compound analysis and testing capabilities
- An R&D chemists group with 23 personnel
- An on-site chemist at each manufacturing center
- Perfluoroelastomer and specialty fluoroelastomer compound development
- Fluoroelastomers with with greatly reduced surface friction properties.
- Compounds combining chloramine resistance with potable water certifications
- The largest selection of ANSI/NSF Std 61 approved compounds in the industry including a new series of superior performance elastomers in chloraminated water
- Expanded potable water certified compounds in Europe and Asia Pacific.
- Regulatory agency approvals for: UL, NSF, ASTM, FDA, KTW, WRAS, ACS, DVGW (W 270), USP Class VI, ISO10993
- Drug Master File compounds
- For Installation, Operational and Performance Qualifications, (IQ – OQ and PQ) we strictly adhere to FDA guidelines and requirements for these validation processes.
Our F-Treated lubricated FKM elastomers were developed to meet the needs of demanding applications where friction is a concern. FKM elastomers containing the conventional lubricating waxes used in other elastomers are ineffective because the high processing temperatures volatilize these ingredients from the elastomers. Chlorination is also ineffective, as FKM elastomers contain no unsaturation to chemically chlorinate. Until F-Treated lubricated FKM elastomers were developed the only option has been topical modification by the coating of the molded seal with products such as molybdenum disulfide, graphite, silicone oil, or PTFE powder. The drawback to these methods is that the coatings can be "washed" from the surface and it is often not practical to replenish the coating in the application.
As a solution we have developed and refined a method to provide a surface modification to most FKM elastomers. This method produces a permanent low coefficient of friction surface which cannot be washed away. The effect of the modification is present beneath the surface of the molded article. This provides an advantage in that if some abrasion of the elastomer occurs, a modified low friction surface will always be present.
Laboratory studies clearly show the dramatic reduction for coefficient of friction of F-Treated molded articles. Since the modification occurs as a reaction with the polymer, the most dramatic improvement is seen with low hardness, polymer-rich elastomers such as 55 Shore A compound 514QN.
Field evaluations have reported a significant improvement in solenoid/armature response time where F-Treated 90 Shore A compound 514ZD seats are now used. In other applications a variety of methods were tested with little success to maintain a constant low friction surface on 70 Shore A FKM Quad-Rings® in a valve that opened and closed only once per day. Among all of the methods tested, only F-Treated Quad-Rings® worked, and the F-Treated Quad-Rings® also provided the lowest force to activate the valve among all methods evaluated.
Characteristics of F-Treated FKM Elastomers:
- A permanent chemical modification of the elastomer.
- Exists beneath the surface of the molded article.
- Has minimal effect upon elastomer original and aged properties. If any change is observed, it may be a slight improvement in compression set resistance.
- Cannot be washed off or extracted from the elastomer.
- Is effective with any FKM fluoroelastomer.
- Does not affect the FDA approvals of appropriate compounds.
- Is not a coating (e.g., PTFE) which is adhered to the surface.
No other process has been developed that is similar to our F-Treat. Please contact us for application questions and additional information on performance characteristics. We're here to make your tough applications a reality.
Bi-Directional Sealing And 360° Low Friction Swivel In IV Device
Fluid delivery through IV devices for medicating animals can be a difficult procedure for veterinarians. A patented product called the Flex-coil® Swivel System makes the process easy, safe for the animal and less labor intensive for the veterinarian. Key to the success is a unique seal designed by Minnesota Rubber and Plastics.
Liquid silicone rubber, or LSR, is a material process that is complemented by our experience and expertise. It provides many economies and features not offered by organic rubber which we take advantage of across many markets.
One example is our work in the silicone over molding of surgical instruments. This is a unique and proprietary process where we create a hermetic seal between the silicone and the over molded instrument. Our bonds withstand repeated autoclave cycling and inhibit the migration of fluids between sealed surfaces.
LSR tooling is comparable in cost and complexity to plastic tooling. Tight tolerances are needed to produce near flash free parts and fast cycle times and automatic processing greatly reduce cavity count.
Typical LSR properties include:
- Thermoset material
- Heat resistance up to 180°C
- Flexibility down to -45° C
- Good resistance to ozone, UV, radiation, and weathering
- Good chloramine resistance
- Excellent electrical insulation properties
- Good resistance to aging
- Physically inert
- High mechanical strength
- Highly colorable
Processing advantages include:
- No material preprocessing
- Very clean molding
- Low or no material waste
- Minimal flash extension can eliminate post-deflashing
- Reduced labor content with automation
- Shorter cycle times
- Thinner cross-sections
- Well suited for high volume production
- Easy to obtain water agency certifications
Medical, Dental And Orthopedic Demand Expands Silicone Bonding Business
Our proprietary silicone bonding process creates a hermetic seal between the silicone and overmolded instrument. This seal withstands repeated autoclave cycling and inhibits the migration of body fluids between sealed surfaces. Both process and compounds are designed to meet the needs of the healthcare industry and to conform to FDA and Class Six requirements.
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