27 May, 2020

Freudenberg introduces new generation of polyurethane

02 April, 2015

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has introduced a new generation of polyurethane that is expected to set new standards for the sealing industry. The polyurethane was developed for a wide array of uses and the new standard material is more resistant to water and withstands major temperature fluctuations than existing polyurethanes.

“This is the best polyurethane for seals that has ever reached the market,” said Dr. Jürgen Hieber, a developer at Freudenberg’s Schwalmstadt, Germany plant. Polyurethane is primarily known as foam for door frames and mattresses and is also frequently used in paints and adhesives. In keeping with the slogan ‘often invisible, always essential’, polyurethane is important for the production of seals that perform tasks under especially severe conditions. Along with excellent resistance to ozone, it has four times the robustness of elastomers. It also effectively withstands exposure to mineral fluids.

Polyurethane seals are primarily used in heavy-duty machinery such as excavators and tractors. Freudenberg's development of its own materials is an important core competency for the company.

“We produce the basic materials for our seals ourselves so we are not dependent on suppliers,” said Mathias Burkert, a Freudenberg Sealing Technologies product manager in Schwalmstadt. “We have succeeded in manufacturing a basic material for seals with a far longer operating life than the current materials used.”

The usage spectrum for the new polyurethane ranges between -40degC and +120degC. This was made possible by a specific modification of the polyurethane components responsible for its temperature characteristics. It resulted in the new material’s particularly favorable viscoelastic behaviour. In practice, this means that seals made from the material stay flexible at low temperatures and sufficiently stable at high temperatures. In this way, development engineers take changing market requirements into account.

This new generation of polyurethane seals is especially well-suited to construction and agricultural machinery, as well as materials-handling equipment which require high-performance materials that allow far longer periods of operation.


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