Be it in the food processing industry, restaurants or residential kitchens: components with food contact in industrial equipment and household appliances are subject to strict legal and exacting technical requirements.
Due to its technical properties and possibilities for component integration and reduction of the need to use diverse materials, nobrox® W6101, as a versatile material for seals and engineered components, enables new approaches to solving engineering challenges and saving costs in the food industry.
Delivering top performance in terms of wear resistance, chemical stability and resilience, reliability and service life, ease of installation and economy, Parker’s compounds from the nobrox® family are equally well suited for use as sealing elements and other engineered components with and without a sealing function. Due to their properties profile, they open up opportunities to reduce the need for using diverse compounds and enable the integration of several functions in a single component. Parker Prädifa is now presenting W6101 as a variant from the nobrox® family that meets all the requirements for food applications.
Compound Versatility Beats Compound Diversity
In food processing machines, polymeric components such as tubes, covers or housings, as well as highly stressed engineered elements such as seals, wipers, guides and pistons are increasingly used. As a cost-efficient alternative the utilization of plastic materials as a substitute for metal makes sense in many areas as well. The technical requirements in terms of temperature resistance and structural strength can be met by selecting appropriate plastic compounds. Typically, various tailored materials are utilized to cover diverse component-specific demands. In addition, every one of these materials has to conform to legal requirements for food applications, which entails high documentation and testing requirements.
nobrox® W6101 offers new possibilities to meet many market-specific challenges and to thus limit the variety of required materials and associated expense. The material is resistant against media commonly used in the food industry, FDA-conformant and meets the requirements of Regulations (EG) No. 1935/2004 and (EU) No. 10/2011 as well as NSF 61 (U.S. drinking water approval).
Reduction of Compound Variety and Functional Integration
Due to its mechanical properties profile, nobrox® can be classified to range between thermoplastics such as polyamides and PEEK as well as their derivatives. However, in food industry applications, it offers crucial benefits compared with conventionally used polymeric compounds. A substitution of PEEK, PA, POM, PTFE, UHMW-PE, TPE U or other elastomers commonly used in the industry makes technical and economic sense in a wide application window.
nobrox® is suitable for use in dynamic seals or wipers and a wide variety of engineered components such as pistons, guides or gearbox components. Functional integration – for instance of a seal, wiper or guide in a piston – and the associated reduction of the number of components is possible as well.
Improved Hygiene and Ease of Use Due to Fewer Components
As the number of components decreases, so do installation requirements as well as splices and joints in the design, which pose the greatest risk of contamination and accumulation of food resides or micro-organisms. The typically difficult accessibility of narrow gaps (e.g. in front seal of grooves, splices and joints) is reflected in long and costly cleaning cycles. Consequently, instead of fighting contamination by excessive cleaning with increasingly aggressive media, the appropriate approach to be used here is to counteract the causes and risks with materials expertise and intelligent seal or component design. Particularly in domestic appliances, component reduction results in ease of use. The frequently necessary partial dismantling of the devices for maintenance and cleaning is facilitated, saves time and is more convenient.
Wear-resistant Even in Low-lube and Dry Running Conditions
Machine elements like seals, wipers and guides typically operate under high tribological loads in dry running or low-lube conditions. Therefore, high lifetime requirements make the use of wear-resistant materials indispensable. The utilization of lubricants is often impossible or should be avoided. The excellent wear and creep resistance of nobrox® has been confirmed by test results.
This is nobrox®
Suitable for versatile uses
- in sealing technology: as a sealing element, guiding element, anti-extrusion element, diaphragm, …
- outside sealing technology: as a material for engineered components
Mechanical properties comparable to PA 12 with approx. 40 K higher melting temperature of 220 °C
Permanent service temperature of up to 150 °C
Good resilience and low creep
High chemical resistance / good barrier properties
Very short cycle times (fast recrystallization)
Low moisture absorption of 0.4 % at 23 °C, 50 % relative humidity
Extremely high ultimate elongation
Very good tribological properties / good sliding properties combined with low wear
Good impact resistance at -40 °C
Flame-protected without halogens and red phosphor
Very good weldability (laser welding, vibration welding, etc.)
Gamma sterilization possible
Outstanding reproducibility of dimensions and tolerances
- EMG Report 06/2017 Page 10, Universal Material nobrox for Food Applications
- EMG Report 04/2015 Page 7, Universal nobrox Material in Professional Coffee Machines
- Brochure "Materials for the Chemical Process and Food Industries"
- www.nobrox.com - Food Applications
Article contributed by
Matthias Buchfink, Application Engineering, and
Michael Erwerle, Compound Technology
Engineered Materials Group Europe,
Prädifa Technology Division