Category Archives: Aerospace

How Engineers Choose Rubber Lubricants

A Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Approach to Selecting Assembly Lubricants

Rubber is everywhere! Have you ever stopped to consider how many rubber parts are in your car? Or your dishwasher? Or the airplane flying you away to your dream vacation? So many items that we use every day are composed of thousands of rubber parts of varying size and shape. Each of these components plays an integral role in how that item functions and performs down the road.

Rubber is truly a unique material. It is elastic yet strong, smooth yet tacky, lightweight yet insulates and protects, and soft yet abrasion-resistaRubberPartsnt. Rubber stretches and compresses, waterproofs no matter its thickness, and remains flexible over a wide temperature range. What’s more amazing is that any of these properties can be optimized by compounding rubber articles using select elastomers, fillers, processing aids, activators and vulcanizing agents. Rubber’s versatility is only limited by one’s imagination. It’s no wonder rubber is so valuable in many industries for an unlimited number of applications including vibration and sound dampening, sealing, electrical and thermal insulation, chemical transport and waterproofing.

Rubber is quite versatile. It can be pushed, pulled, stretched, compressed, or heated to fit in, on, or over anything. Rubber is inherently tacky and can be squeezed into tight areas, but it is naturally slip resistant making it difficult to install, remove or manipulate. It’s not unusual for rubber parts to slip during assembly and not go exactly where they’re intended: an O-ring may get twisted, a heater hose may not be fully inserted, a gap can appear in a waterproof seam. Successful assembly can be tricky. Improper assembly can lead to a multitude of problems including destroyed parts, warranty claims, recalls and worker fatigue or injury.

So, why has rubber installation always seemed to be an afterthought?
Coating rubber parts with a liquid to provide lubrication prior to assembly helps avoid some of the aforementioned problems. Traditionally, lubricant choice was based on convenience. Line workers would find whatever substances were in the plant and use them for rubber assembly. Some common choices were soap and water, alcohol, gasoline, motor oil, petroleum jelly and silicone spray. While these products do provide lubrication, they also introduce health and safety risks and may damage rubber parts.

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Enter the Engineers…
To protect product integrity and ensure environmental and worker safety, engineers became involved in the lubricant selection process. Design Engineers, Lubricant Engineers and Ergonomic Engineers all take part in choosing the proper lubricant for each assembly process.  Design Engineers are concerned with design tolerance, part breakage, production rates, dry time and material compatibility.  Lubricant Engineers are more focused on performance, cost, regulatory compliance and toxicity approval.  Ergonomic Engineers remain focused on worker safety and consider factors such as friction and effort reduction, production rates, quality and consistency, and health and safety hazards.

ENGINEER COLLABORATION

Lubricants Are a Part of the Design Process
As a result of these concerns, lubricants are now included in the initial design phase of many engineered parts. In addition to detailing all facets of the part, material specifications now include the accompanying assembly lubricant and its proper assembly technique. Design stages include a battery of lubricant trials and choices are made based on performance, cost and safety. More and more frequently, water-based lubricants are the product of choice.

The Power of Water-Based Lubricants
A well-formulated oil-in-water emulsion overpowers the low surface energy of rubber. This means the emulsion completely coats the surface without beading up. The oil portion has a natural affinity to the rubber surface and the water is exposed to the environment, facilitating evaporation. Only a thin layer of oil contacts the rubber, an ample volume for successful assembly. The thin coating ensures no residue, temporary lubrication, no compatibility issues and a safe working environment. Once assembled, the water evaporates and the lubrication ceases.

Water-based lubricants can be formulated with different properties making them ideal for essentially any assembly application. Lubricant properties such as viscosity, dry time, biodegradability, compatibility, and surface residue (such as adhesiveness) are all taken into consideration. Engineers can now choose a lubricant tailored exactly to their needs before production begins, eliminating many of the problems that used to occur after assembly.

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The lubricant selection process has evolved so that it is now a true collaboration between Design, Lubricant and Ergonomic Engineers.  Download our presentation here, and learn more about this multi-disciplinary engineering approach to selecting assembly lubricants. Contact IPC’s technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

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Hassled By Hose Assembly? P-80® Lubricants Can Help!

Rubber hoses are everywhere! Have you ever stopped to consider how many everyday items have hoses? Cars, trucks, buses, planes, boats, motorcycles, construction equipment, appliances, pumps, and medical equipment all contain hoses.

So, what exactly is a hose? Hoses are flexible hollow tubes that transport fluids, or gases, from one location to another. It’s easy to see how hoses are an integral part of all of the items mentioned above. Hoses allow gas to travel from the fuel tank of your car to the engine, water to move from the water line in your home to the dispenser on your refrigerator, and medicine to flow through an IV unit.

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Most hoses are attached to other parts of an assembly by some type of connector, usually referred to as a coupling or a fitting. Hose fittings are typically made of metal or plastic. Anyone who has ever worked with rubber parts knows they can be difficult to assemble. Trying to install, remove or manipulate tight fitting rubber components can be a real challenge.

Since hoses are so vital, it’s important to make sure they are assembled properly to avoid problems later on. Parts that are improperly aligned or installed may result in performance or safety issues. Hoses and couplings are designed with a tight fit so they stay together after assembly to function properly and avoid leakage. The insertion force needed to complete the assembly can be extreme, sometimes causing worker injury.

So, how do you make hose assembly easier? P-80® temporary assembly lubricants can help! P-80 temporary rubber assembly lubricants significantly reduce friction to help rubber parts slide easily into place. P-80 lubricants are water-based, and do not contain alcohol or petroleum distillates so they will not cause rubber to dry out, swell or harden. P-80 does not contain silicon or other persistent ingredients, so once dry you have a tight fitting part.

What are the advantages of using P-80 lubricants?
• Reduce the force required for installation
• Increase production rates
• Reduce part breakage, leaks and rejects
• Allow for closer fitting part design
• Reduce risk of musculoskeletal and slippage related injuries

What if my hoses undergo pressure testing immediately after assembly? P-80 lubricants provide temporary lubrication, once dry the lubrication ceases and parts stay in place. International Products Corporation (IPC) recommends using P-80® Grip-It for hose assemblies that are pressure tested or drop tested immediately after assembly. P-80 Grip-It provides the lubricity needed to complete your assembly and then dries quickly to allow the natural tight fit of rubber to return. When dry, P-80 Grip-it leaves a tacky finish to help parts stay in place, making it an excellent choice for use on pressure-tested hoses. Download our case study detailing how one major appliance manufacturer benefited from using P-80® Grip-It for dishwasher hose assembly to reduce drop test failures.

In addition to Grip-It, P-80 is available in five additional water-based formulas, including two that are approved for use in incidental food contact applications. P-80 lubricants offer superior lubrication and are compatible with a variety of surfaces. They are environmentally friendly, most are biodegradable.

Make hose assembly easier with P-80! Contact IPC’s technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

 

 

What is the dry time of P-80®? (And, why it matters)

Why does dry time matter?

P-80® lubricants are temporary assembly lubricants. When P-80 is wet it provides the needed lubrication to reduce the friction of rubber parts during assembly. Once P-80 dries the lubrication ceases and parts stay in place.

Some assembly applications may benefit from using a quick-drying lubricant. This is often the case in processes where pressure testing takes place immediately after assembly, such as powertrain hose applications. In other assembly operations, achieving maximum lubrication may be the primary goal and dry time is less important.

What is the average dry time for each of the P-80 lubricants?

While all P-80 products are temporary lubricants, the average dry time varies depending upon which P-80 formula you are using. The table below lists the average dry time for each of the P-80 lubricants.

P-80 Formula Estimated Minimum Dry Time
P-80® Emulsion and P-80® Emulsion IFC 1 hour
P-80® THIX and P-80® THIX IFC 2 hours
P-80® Grip-It 20 minutes
P-80® RediLube 20 minutes

Can I adjust the amount of time it takes for P-80 to dry?

The dry time of each of the P-80 formulas can fluctuate depending on the amount applied, part tolerance, material porosity, and temperature. In some cases it can take up to two days for P-80 to fully dry. The dry time of each P-80 lubricant can be altered by changing the variables listed below:

  • Volume of P-80 applied
  • Tolerance of Fitted Parts
  • Porosity of Materials
  • Temperature

If you have tested the above variables and are still not satisfied with the dry time, you may want to try a different P-80 formula.

For a quicker dry time try P-80 RediLube or P-80 Grip-It. For a longer dry time try P-80 THIX.

Contact us to speak with a specialist and request a sample for testing. Download our free P-80 dry time ePaper for more information.

Deciphering Reach and RoHS…The Alphabet Soup of Safety Standards

There are many safety standards that apply to chemical products. As new standards and regulations emerge it can be difficult for those who buy and use chemical products to keep up-to-date with proper safety requirements. Many businesses use chemicals in their day to day operations for manufacturing and maintenance. Sometimes it may seem as though the regulations are an alphabet soup of acronyms designed to overwhelm and confuse the average person. Consumers of chemical products rely on manufacturers to comply with all regulations and standards.

RoHS

What is RoHS?
RoHS is an abbreviation for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. Specifically, it restricts the use of certain hazardous materials in electronic products. It is a list of substances that are not permitted in electronics or electrical devices sold in the EU. The RoHS directive applies to all components that are involved in the assembly of electrical products, not solely the finished goods.
What substances are restricted under RoHS?
The following materials are banned under the RoHS directive: lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates (DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP).

Why is RoHS important?
RoHS compliance is mandatory. The substances banned under RoHS are hazardous to the environment. These substances are also harmful to workers using them during the manufacturing process and consumers that use the finished products.

REACH

What is REACH?
REACH is an abbreviation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. REACH is an EU regulation designed to protect human health and the environment from chemical harm. REACH is monitored by ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency.

What substances are restricted under REACH?
REACH applies to all chemical substances, not solely those used in manufacturing or industrial processes. So chemical products used in everyday life, like household cleaning products and paints, home appliances and clothing are also affected. Currently, REACH restricts the use of 38 chemicals, the full list can be found on the ECHA website.

What about SVHC?
SVHC is an abbreviation for Substances of Very High Concern. These substances are put on a candidate list for REACH authorization and are called the REACH SVHC List. This list of substances is updated frequently. The full list of REACH SVHC substances can be found on the ECHA website.
Substances on the REACH SVHC list are:

  • CMR: classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (category 1 or 2)
  • PBT: persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic
  • vPvB: Very Persistent and very bio-accumulative
  • substances for which there is evidence for similar concern such as endocrine disruptors

Why is REACH important?
Like RoHS, REACH was enacted to ensure environmental and personal safety when using chemicals.

REACH AND RoHS: How they differ

Both REACH and RoHS are safety regulations designed to protect workers, consumers and the environment. REACH is monitored and implemented by ECHA, while RoHS is an EU directive that is monitored by the individual states. The substances banned by RoHS include a list of 10 specific substances (as of the writing of this post), while those prohibited by REACH keep growing as new hazards are discovered. In general, REACH is much broader in scope than RoHS. In both cases, it is the responsibility of the manufacture to ensure compliance with all regulations.

Manufacturers must continually monitor not only the substances that are restricted by these regulations, but also those under consideration. In some cases, finding a suitable substitute for a banned substance can be very difficult. Compliance for manufacturers is time consuming and expensive, but safety has to be their number one concern.

Safety concerns? IPC has you covered!

As a chemical manufacturer, International Products Corporation (IPC) takes its responsibility to the environment and its customers very seriously. All of IPC’s water-based lubricants and cleaners comply with RoHS and REACH directives, and can replace traditionally used corrosives, phosphates, solvents, petroleum distillates, and other hazardous chemicals. IPC maintains a zero discharge policy and all of its products are developed and manufactured in its Burlington, New Jersey, ISO 9001 certified plant.

IPC is committed to keeping abreast of environmental and regulatory trends and best practices to continually improve the quality and safety of its products and facilities. For more information contact one of IPC’s product specialists.

Rubber Lubricants Make Helicopter Maintenance A Breeze

Assembly and repair of helicopters can be difficult. Helicopters are composed of numerous rubber parts, many of which can be hard to install or replace. Rotor blades, shafts, landing skids, control rods, stabilizer bars, pitch levers, blade grips, isolators, bushings, hoses, rotor seals, and tail booms are some of the many helicopter parts that are either composed of rubber or connected with rubber parts.

Unlike traditional airplanes, helicopters have a unique ability to land and take off vertically and to hover in place. A helicopter’s ability to lift and thrust comes from its rotors. These unique properties must be designed to exacting standards, with no room for compromise. High quality materials should be used to ensure that parts are properly installed and assemblies are completed perfectly every time. Reliance on anything other than specialty lubricants, formulated specifically for rubber assembly, creates risks for failure from the onset.

Rubber is naturally slip resistant, making it difficult to work with. Installing, removing or manipulating tight fitting rubber components can be a real challenge. Parts that are improperly aligned or installed may result in performance or safety issues. Temporary assembly lubricants make rubber installation easy.

This diagram shows some of the many helicopter parts that can benefit from using a temporary assembly lubricant for installation.

P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants significantly reduce friction helping rubber parts slide easily into place. And, P-80 lubricants do not contain any hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. P-80’s unique, water-based formula is temporary; once dry, P-80 stops lubricating and parts remain in place.

Advantages of using P-80® lubricants:
• Reduce the force required for installation
• Increase production rates
• Reduce part breakage and rejects
• Allow for closer fitting part design
• Reduce risk of musculoskeletal and slippage related injuries

Try using a rubber assembly aid the next time you’re installing rotor blades, seals or dampers and see how much easier the job becomes. Want to try P-80 for your assembly or repair needs? Request a free sample.

Read more about temporary rubber assembly lubricants, including how to use them and factors to consider when choosing a lubricant. Or, contact our technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

Stop Struggling … See How Temporary Lubricants Make Rubber Assembly Easier!

Have you ever struggled with rubber assembly? If so, you’ve probably experienced for yourself the excessive force needed to properly install hoses, seals, gaskets, O-rings and many other rubber parts. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came up with a better way?

Your wishes have been granted! Temporary rubber assembly lubricants were developed specifically to solve this common problem. Temporary rubber lubricants can ease assembly processes and significantly reduce the force needed to assemble rubber parts.

So, how effective are temporary assembly lubricants? Why not see for yourself? International Products Corporation (IPC), manufacturer of P-80® temporary rubber assembly lubricants, put together this short video showing the reduction in force obtained by using P-80® Emulsion to assemble a rubber hose.

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The results of this test are dramatic. A 63% reduction of force was achieved by using P-80 Emulsion for this assembly. A digital force gauge manufactured by Mecmesin was used for measurement. The amount of force needed to assemble a dry piece of hose was 196 Newtons. IPC’s test lab then lubricated the same hose with P-80 Emulsion and the amount of force needed for the same assembly dropped to 72 Newtons. That represents a reduction of force of 124 Newtons or 63%.

What are some of the advantages of reducing the force required to install rubber parts?
• Allow for tighter fitting part design
• Improve product performance
• Increase production rates by allowing for faster assembly
• Reduce worker injuries by decreasing the assembly force required
• Reduce part rejection

The next time you’re having trouble with hoses, seals, gaskets, O-Rings or any other rubber part, remember to use a temporary rubber assembly lubricant and watch the parts slide into place with much less force. Temporary lubricants are ideal for rubber assembly because they reduce the friction needed to assemble parts.

Want more information about temporary rubber assembly lubricants, including how to use them and factors to consider when choosing a lubricant? Contact IPC for help finding the best solution for your assembly needs.

 

The Synergy of Membrane Cleaners

Water treatment facilities across a variety of industries are often challenged by membrane cleaning. As membranes become fouled from use they become less effective. Clean membranes allow for the proper flow of water. Keeping membranes clean is key to maintaining an optimal flux rate and helps to ensure that the treatment plant is operating effectively.

THE ECONOMICS OF MAINTENANCE
Treatment plant operators realize the importance of implementing a regular membrane cleaning regimen, but are often challenged to find the right cleaning products. Ideally they will want to find a cleaner that will restore membrane flux (which will in turn prolong the life of the membrane), reduce the cleaning frequency needed, be safe for both the membranes and the environment, and prove easy to use. Using the right membrane cleaner is a good economic decision as it minimizes downtime and prolongs membrane life. Since membranes are extremely expensive most facilities try their best to keep them operational for as long as possible.

Many membranes are sensitive to harsh chemicals and extreme pH levels. It is important for treatment plant operators to choose cleaners that will not be harmful to the membranes. Many specialty cleaners with mild pH ranges and safe ingredients are formulated to be effective, non-harmful cleaning agents for membranes.

THE RIGHT CHEMICAL IS KEY
Another consideration in choosing the proper membrane cleaner is the type of soil found in the water that is being treated. Alkaline cleaners dissolve oils and greases; some also contain chelants that can suspend metals and minerals. Citric acid cleaners are excellent at dissolving scale, like calcium carbonate or iron oxide. Hazardous acid cleaners, such as sulfuric, hydrochloric, and phosphoric, will serve the same purpose, but citric acid is much safer and has a broader range of filter compatibilities. A citric acid cleaner that also contains surfactants can go after many oils and greases that might be present in addition to the scale. In the food processing industry, soils can contain proteins and starches; in this case enzymatic cleaners might be needed. Most foulants are combinations of various soils; therefore choosing a formulated cleaning product with multifunctional ingredients is usually best.

AN UPSETTING PROBLEM
One U.S. wastewater treatment plant has an auxiliary effluent re-use facility constructed specifically to produce reverse osmosis quality water destined for ethanol production. The plant requires approximately 1,000,000 gallons (3.8 million liters) of reverse osmosis water per day above the wastewater treatment plant’s normal processing volumes. The wastewater control systems manager, manages the effluent re-use facility to ensure this additional volume is met on a daily basis. A key component of the effluent re-use facility is the ultra-filtration process, which uses 0.4μ polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membranes with an upper pH limit of 10.0. These membranes are fouled primarily with petroleum sulfonates and bacterial secretions. Particularly in cold weather, the upstream BOD step has frequent “upsets,” where the bacteria die and secrete a water soluble foulant that adheres strongly to the PVDF polymer and significantly increases the trans-membrane pressure (TMP). These “upsets” must be resolved quickly to ensure a plentiful supply of pure water.

PASSING THE TEST
In order to determine the optimal cleaning regimen, the plant manager systematically evaluated the performance of twenty different cleaners and hundreds of differentmembrane_art_beaker combinations and concentrations, including commonly used commodities and many formulated membrane cleaners. The results found International Products Corporation’s Micro-90® was one of the top performing cleaners in the study. Micro-90® stood out because the product performed better than all of the commodities and other formulated membrane cleaners, particularly on the bacterial secretions. Micro-90® worked effectively without the use of phosphates, silicates, and strong alkalis, at a membrane-compatible pH of only 9.5, and at a 0.3 percent concentration.

THE SYNERGY OF MICRO-90®
Micro-90® is a mild, yet powerful, multipurpose, alkaline cleaning concentrate that has long been used in laboratories, industrial applications, and critical cleaning processes. Micro-90® is a unique chelating detergent that contains ionic and non-ionic ingredients, which combine to produce a variety of cleaning actions. Micro-90® lifts, disperses, emulsifies, sequesters, suspends, and decomposes soils, then rinses away leaving the surface absolutely clean.
Micro-90®’s target soils include oil, grease, wax, tar, flux, particulates, hard water stains, and biological debris. Micro-90® is highly effective at defouling filter membranes and can be validated in critical cleaning applications.

A MODEL FOR THE FUTURE
Micro-90® has been in use at the effluent re-use facility since October 2010. Some of the original PVDF membranes are still used and continue to smembrane_m90ee significant TMP drops after cleaning with Micro-90®. Although the bacterial upsets cannot be prevented, their fouling can be resolved in a predictable manner with the use of Micro-90®. Since the initial use of Micro-90®, the effluent re-use facility design engineers have recommended the cleaner to other similarly designed effluent re-use facilities nationwide because of the product’s effectiveness, safe profile, compatibility, and economical cost per use.

Because so many variables can exist in choosing the right cleaning product for each facility, it is important for treatment plant operators to work with cleaner manufacturers that can offer them technical guidance and a variety of products to best meet their needs. When selecting a membrane cleaner find a company that provides a range of proven products, referrals, free technical support, free product samples, and on-site assistance.

Micro-90® is manufactured in the USA by International Products Corporation (IPC) and is readily available worldwide through a network of global distributors. Contact IPC for a no-obligation evaluation and offer of free samples by visiting http://www.ipcol.com or email membrane@ipcol.com.  Micro-90® is available for purchase online at http://www.ipcol.com.

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