Dry Film Lubricants

The Battle Against Friction

Friction is the enemy to the service life and quality of any product that has parts that require smooth, repetitive motion. Over time it causes wear and can break down the structural integrity of moving parts leading to decreased performance and decrease the life of the product.

Lubrication is Key

Selecting the proper lubricants is critical for manufacturers that are looking to produce products with optimal performance and a long wear life.  In many applications the use of silicone or hydrocarbon based greases and oils are used on moving parts and prolong optimal product performance.  These traditional liquid lubricants, however, go on wet and can easily attract dirt, dust, and other contaminants.  In lubrication applications where liquid oils and greases can't be used and surfaces must remain clean, a dry film lubricant is preferred.

What is a Dry Film Lubricant?

Dry film lubricants, also known as solid film lubricants, are coatings with a low coefficient of friction that lubricate and protect surfaces from wear, galling, and seizing during repetitive motion.  Unlike traditional fluid lubricants that are wet, dry film coatings dry to a solid film that does not attract contaminants that hinder the lubricant's efficiency.  Dry film lubrication is especially useful in applications where extreme temperatures may vaporize or freeze a fluid lubricant and in applications where regular re-application of lubricant is not possible.  A majority of dry film coating formulations are based on fluoropolymer or molybendum disulfide chemistry.

Chemours™ DryFilm RA Dispersions

DryFilm RA Dispersions are a line of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) dispersions from Chemours that are ideally suited for used as a dry lubricant.  When applied to solid surfaces DryFilm dispersions produce a film with an extremely low static coefficient of friction, excellent high temperature stability, and outstanding chemical resistance.  Typical applications where DryFilm RA Dispersions are used as a dry film lubricant include:
 
  • Manufacture of machine parts and fittings
  • Lubrication of leather, plastics, and elastomers for use in drive belts, gaskets, and bearings.
  • Metalworking operations
  • Lubrication of precisions audiovisual equipment
  • Manufacture and finishing of furniture and hardware for construction including door hinges and electrical switches

How to Use DryFilm RA Dispersions as a Dry Film Lubricant

DryFilm RA Dispersions can be applied to substrates in any of several methods including dipping, wiping, brushing, or spraying onto a prepared surface.  Best practices for applying DryFilm as a solid film lubricant are outlined below.

Surface Preparation

As is true with most coatings, the surface should be clean and dry prior to the application of DryFilm dispersions.  Controlling the surface roughness improves coverage, especially in air-dried applications.

Dilution

Chemours DryFilm RA Dispersions are extendable and allow users to customize the dispersion for ease of applications and adequacy of coverage.  DryFilm RA Dispersions come dispersed in three different solvents and can be extended with additional amounts of base solvent.

Application

DryFilm RA Dispersions can be applied to many different types of substrates including plastics, metals, elastomers, and leather.  Recommended application methods include dipping, brushing, wiping, and spraying.

Drying

Like with any other applied coating, drying is best done in an area that is relatively free from dust.  Drying times for DryFilm are dependent on the dispersion type and the thickness of the application but in general increasing the temperature of the drying area will reduce drying times.

Heat Fusing

Because of the high temperature stability of the PTFE in DryFilm dispersions, heat fusion to the applied surface to improve adhesion is possible.  Once the applied DryFilm dispersion is dry the deposited solids can be melted by raising the temperature of the surface to 305 - 310°C for 5 to 10 min.

Summary & Conclusion

Dry film lubricants are good alternatives to fluid lubricants in applications that require permanent lubrication at high temperatures.  DryFilm RA Dispersions from Chemours™ are dispersions of low molecular weight PTFE particles that produce dry films with outstanding lubricity and excellent resistance to high temperatures and chemical attack.  DryFilm RA Dispersions are ideal for use as a dry lubricant for materials that must hold up to repetitive motion.  Contact ChemPoint today to learn more and request your sample of DryFilm today.

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