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Rulon Bearings: A Review of Common Formulas

Posted by Dave Biering

Apr 17, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Rulon 641 is FDA-cleared for use in food and pharmaceutical applicationsRulon® is one of the materials that we are asked about most often.  While there are over 300 unique formulas of this material, today we’ll review some of the most-common formulas.  No matter which formula your application requires, you should expect a versatile, self-lubricating, and low-friction material for bearings, seals, gaskets and structural components. 

There are literally hundreds of variations of Rulon, but in our experience, the most popular are Rulon® 641, Rulon® J, and Rulon® LR.   Each offers slightly different attributes, yet all have delivered superior results to our clients.

For more details and technical specs on the materials below, our Rulon Comparison Chart is a great resource!

Rulon 641

FDA-cleared for use in food and pharmaceutical applications, Rulon 641 is an excellent material for seals in pumps and valves.  It is able to withstand the sanitation washdowns required of food and drug processing. 

Rulon J

Provides the lowest coefficient of friction of any filled-PTFE bearing compound.  It also offers good wear properties against soft mating materials.

Rulon LR

The most-commonly used material for general purpose applications.  It is chemically inert and with excellent dielectric properties, maroon in color.

Have you downloaded your free copy of our Rulon White Paper?   It provides a quick review of the top manufacturing controls to embrace ― and the pitfalls to avoid ― when selecting true Rulon materials for your next application.

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Topics: Rulon J, Rulon Materials, Self-Lubricating Bearings, Rulon 641, Rulon LR

When is it time to replace bearings?

Posted by Dave Biering

Apr 15, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Aluminum can production line.How one manufacturer saved $30K with self-lubricating plastic bearings

When is the right time to replace bearings?  This question really has no straightforward answer; there are simply too many variables to account for.  Operating conditions, working temperature, weather exposure, and friction levels all contribute to bearing longevity. But in the debate over metal vs. plastic bearings, there’s no doubt about the advantages of self-lubricating plastics.  Plastic bearings have a significantly longer lifespan and require zero maintenance.  Here’s how one beverage processor saved $30,000 in replacement costs with self-lubricating plastic bearings:

A major producer of aluminum cans approached us when their production line was continually halted so maintenance crews could manually grease and service the metal linear bearings located on their positioning tables.  Each table held four bearings that were difficult to access, yet required regular greasing.  Each time one of the metal bearings failed, the production line came to a halt while the faulty component was replaced.  Between down production time plus the expense of the replacement bearings, costs quickly escalated across the production line. 

By switching to self-lubricating FCJ bearings, our client has completely eliminated the need for manual greasing and frequent work interruptions.  Production has increased, and the subsequent savings in materials, labor and maintenance has totaled over $30,000 in the first year alone.  Our technical brief covers all of the details of this beverage processing application.

How often do you need to replace your industrial bearings?  Here are 5 Common Signs of Bearing Failure to help you evaluate.  Or let our In-house Experts review the advantages with you directly!

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Topics: Food, Bearing Failure, Self-Lubricating Bearings

Trilon Modified UHMW – Ideal for Custom Components

Posted by Dave Biering

Apr 10, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Trilon AR and FRA question was recently posted to our portal asking about Trilon as a custom component.  Trilon is a modified-UHMW that gives superior wear in highly-abrasive environments. The material is available in variety of formulas, and can be fabricated in the field, or easily customized in-house using carbide or diamond tools.  Trilon excels in industries where durability and longevity matter; including mining, pulp and paper, and timber handling.  Explore our Railroad White Paper to review how custom Trilon FR components delivered superior fire resistance to a mass transit system.

Both Trilon AR and FR give nearly double the wear life of virgin acetal, and up to four times the wear  of nylon.  And since Trilon has a dynamic friction of just .07, the material requires less energy to drive systems ― which can help lower your operating costs. 

Look to Trilon for:

  • Lightweight alternative to stainless steel (8x lighter)
  • Self-lubricating properties that “polish” mating materials to reduce friction
  • Abrasion, moisture and all-weather tolerance
  • Lower operating costs

Ask our design Experts for a quote on Trilon custom components today!

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Topics: UHMW, Trilon, Custom Bearings

Rulon 641: Performance from Food Processing to Medical Equipment Manufacturing

Posted by Dave Biering

Apr 9, 2014 3:00:00 PM

Rulon 641 has USP Class VI approval for medical applications.The food and medical manufacturing industries share many commonalities; most notably, they operate in environments with strict regulations for quality, safety and sanitation.  Processing equipment must be of the highest quality and offer contamination resistance.  Rulon® 641 is the only FDA-cleared material for use in food processing that also has USP Class VI approval for medical applications.

Two demanding manufacturing environments, one common material ― Rulon 641.  See our Rulon Comparison Chart to explore the advantages.

Temperature tolerance for food processing

A major food processor approached us seeking a replacement for their virgin-PTFE seals located on the miniature cryogenic valves of the fast-freeze systems.  The equipment is used to flash-freeze fruits and other foodstuffs.  The PTFE seals were failing from exposure to the cryogenic temperatures and required frequent and expensive change out.  Rulon 641 offered our partner a material with superior temperature stability and a longer lifespan for significant savings.  Rulon 641 is non-abrasive for use against the systems’ stainless mating hardware, and has maintained good sealability under difficult conditions. 

Superior sterilization for medical manufacturing

We’ve also partnered with the manufacturers of surgical laser devices to replace failing PTFE valves seats with Rulon 641.  Rulon excels in the rotary and oscillating movements required of this application and has a very low coefficient of friction and a superior wear factor.   The material can be lapped using standard procedures to produce extremely good surface finishes in precision valve seats.  And the material’s white, stain-resistant color indicates a sanitary compound for medical environments.  Rulon 641 has USP Class VI approval, and easily tolerates all standard CIP procedures required of both the food and medical industries.

Is Rulon 641 the right material for your application?  Contact our Engineering Experts for a consultation. Or read our free Rulon White Paper to learn about the advantages of Rulon’s processing controls.

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Topics: Food, Rulon, Medical

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