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FRICTION OPTIMISATION OF SEALS THROUGH ADVANCED LASER SURFACE TEXTURING OF MOULDS

Project description

Optimising polymeric seals through laser surface texturing of moulds

Polymeric seals in industrial components ensure the containment and flow of liquids and gases under extreme environmental conditions. However, they are susceptible to damage and leakage caused by friction. Surface texturing techniques applied to other materials have successfully reduced friction. Thus, the EU-funded MouldTex project proposes to develop and demonstrate an innovative method to design and manufacture textured polymeric seals. The method involves the use of modelling software to determine suitable texturing patterns, allowing for customisation according to the component’s specific use and properties. Patterns will then be transferred onto the surface of a mould using an automated laser and will include optical inspection and quality control.

Objective

Polymeric seals are essential components in almost every industrial and mechanical process enabling the effective containment and movement of liquids and gases under extremes of environment. Friction is intrinsically related to seal performance. High friction accelerates wear of the seal leading to leakage and/or premature failure, and increases the energy consumption of industrial processes.

Surface (micro-) texturing is a proven technique for reducing friction across lubricated rigid materials such as metal and ceramic materials. Within recent years this technique has been applied and demonstrated for polymeric and elastomeric materials at laboratory level.

The project will develop and demonstrate a novel methodology for the design and high volume manufacture of surface textured polymeric components tailored to the (friction) environment within which the component operates, achieving a friction reduction of >20% at a cost premium of <10%.

The novel methodology combines:
•advanced modelling software for the identification of surface texture patterns that lead to significant friction reduction for target rubber and plastic seals and applications
•software for the design of mould tools that enable the reliable transfer of texture patterns onto the seal surface
•novel automated laser system for the application of hierarchical laser induced micro- texture patterns to the mould tool surface
•best practice for moulding and de-moulding using surface textured moulds
•inline optical inspection for surface texture pattern quality control

The project will establish three pilot lines for demonstration of: 1) mould tool design and manufacture; and the design and manufacture of 2) rotary seals for engine applications; and 3) reciprocating seals for industrial processes.

Call for proposal

H2020-IND-CE-2016-17

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Sub call

H2020-FOF-2017

Coordinator

INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DE ARAGON
Net EU contribution
€ 717 062,50
Address
MARIA DE LUNA 8
50018 Zaragoza
Spain

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Region
Noreste Aragón Zaragoza
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 717 062,50

Participants (9)