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Material Handling Equipment

Vespel® Parts in Material Handling Equipment

Have a Tough Material Handling Job? DuPont™ Vespel® Parts Have Solutions

In systems for moving, molding or testing challenging products through the manufacturing chain, DuPont™ Vespel® parts can deliver major performance and cost benefits compared to metal, ceramic, PEEK and other nonmetallic components in material handling equipment.

Vespel® parts have a unique combination of properties of high value for components of material handling equipment.

  • Resistance to very high temperatures
  • Low wear, even under extreme conditions
  • Reduced friction
  • Light weight
  • Low thermal conductivity
  • Excellent dielectric properties

Solutions for high-temperature environments

Glass making. In the torrid world glass container manufacturing, Vespel® parts have proven their value as takeout inserts and other components. They are selected to meet these demanding requirements:

  • Withstand intermittent contact with glass bottles at 1200˚ F/650˚ C
  • Meet needs for low friction and wear in contact with hot glass
  • Provide high mechanical strength and toughness
  • Have 100x lower thermal conductivity than graphite and metal parts

Benefits compared with carbon graphite inserts include:

  • Fewer bottle rejects: reduced thermal shock (checking) and cracking
  • Longer insert life, less downtime for insert replacement
  • Reduced oil contamination
  • Lower production costs

Other applications for Vespel® parts in glass container manufacture include stacker bar inserts, sweep-out fingers and dead plates.

Metal fabrication. In conveyors for hot aluminum extrusions, Vespel® parts provide benefits in replacing aramid fiber for rollers covers pads. They reduce costs and improve quality by providing more resistance to wear and to damage by jagged metal extrusion ends.

Plastics processing.  In injection molding and extrusion equipment, Vespel® parts are replacing metal and other materials seals, bushings, bearings and insulators. Often used without lubrication, Vespel® parts deliver these benefits:

  • Reduce contamination of the plastic melt
  • Improve product quality
  • Boost productivity.
  • Withstand process temperatures up to 550° F/288° C
  • Provide more compliant and reliable seals than metal or ceramics
  • Resist creep, maintaining critical dimensions.

In hot runner or insulated runner systems, for example, Vespel® insulators can outlast ceramics thanks to their impact resistance and mechanical strength.  More compliant than metal or ceramics, they also provide better seals.

Solutions for Low Wear and Dimensional Stability

Semiconductor Material Handling

For reliable wafer and flat panel glass handling, Vespel® parts and shapes provide several benefits:

  • Low wear = low particles = reduced contamination and positional accuracy
  • Surface characteristics result in less damage to substrates
  • High temperature capability

Test Sockets

Increased demand for advanced test socket designs is exceeding the capability of conventional materials. The trend toward smaller pin sizes and finer pitches requires stronger/stiffer materials with improved dimensional stability and stable electrical properties. Vespel® parts offer dimensional stability, excellent electrical insulation and stiffness to resist insertion force to improve test accuracy.

Holographic film/sheet processing.  Vespel® rollers provide hardness and compliance in equipment for embossing holographic film and sheet.    

In replacing metal rollers in such equipment, Vespel® parts deliver several benefits.  They help improve product quality with consistent performance across the web width, increase flexibility in hologram design and enhance the brilliance of holographic effects.  They help reduce production costs with fewer rejects, longer roll life and reduced wear of other machine components.

Lubricant-Free Solutions

Textiles.  In the fast-moving world of textile production, Vespel® parts for looms and finishing equipment are being chosen because they can operate without fabric-soiling lubricants.

Used as bushes and wear pads in machinery built by leading makers in Europe, Japan and the U.S., unlubricated Vespel® parts are fulfilling needs for low wear and friction at high PV ratios. In a major European customer’s looms, for example, unlubricated Vespel® bushes oscillate around steel pins at 1200 cycles/min. at high load, 35 MPa (2,320 psi). The machinery manufacturer projects the unlubricated Vespel® bushes to last for about 2 billion cycles, which represents three years of continuous operation.

Other field-proven applications in various kinds of textile machinery include sleeve bearings, roller bearings, brake shoes, guide rollers and shedder bushings.

Photocopying machines. Lubricant-free performance provides benefits in paper handling, too. For example, in a desktop copier, toner was leaching oil from porous bronze bushings, contaminating the toner and ruining copy quality. Switching to unlubricated Vespel® bearings solved the contamination problem while delivering excellent wear performance.

Summary

Manufacturers of conveyors and other material handling equipment can look to DuPont™ Vespel® parts for mechanical components that deliver performance benefits and reduce ownership and operating cost in a wide range of applications, including those involving elevated temperature, extreme wear conditions and/or harsh chemicals.

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