December 28, 2020

Graphite Low Friction Coatings For Conveyors - Lose the Grease!

Graphite low friction coatings, like oil-grease lubricants, are excellent choices for preventing wear of conveyor drives, sprockets, take-ups, and related moving parts. Without them, metal surfaces rub and are quickly stripped of their oxides. The result is strong atomic attraction between the metals.

What does this mean? Well, consider increased friction, more wear, and, under higher PV (pressure-velocity) combinations, galling or seizing.

So when is graphite lubricant preferable to oil or grease? That's easy.

Just take a look at indexing equipment using gas compressors or air pumps. Oil and grease lubricants can quickly lose their viscosity, even volatilize and contaminate the environment. Consider service temperatures dipping to cryogenic levels, or exceeding a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit, and you will see what I mean.

Wear, too, with oil-grease lubricants, can sometimes accelerate, based on their "attraction" of abrasive dust. So much so that they can become grinding compounds!

That is what makes compounds like dry graphite ideal. High temperature conveyors using carbon graphite, for example, can benefit on several factors: higher load, faster speed, reduced wear on the counter-face, motor downsizing, and, of course, lower friction. Coefficient values, though system-dependent, can be as low as 0.02 to 0.04.

Today, graphite can be purchased in a variety of forms, from powder coating graphite to colloidal dispersion. So, talk to a coatings applications engineer, before your next conveyor design and build, to see how your specific requirements can be met. Dimensional adds are often negligible. And the dry film lubricant will only enhance the properties of your surface hardened steel.

Graphite properties have provided answers to the harshest of conditions for years. And they will continue for years to come, as new applications for graphite low friction coatings emerge.