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Combating Metal Wear Against Plastic

Metal Wear from Plastic

Plastic declaring war against your metal? Really, we don't mean the other way around. Your steel shows evidence of adhesive wear. No other source for abrasion is found.

How do you fight back? Is hardening your steel the answer? Maybe it's time to just get a little rougher.

Plastic-metal rubbing is system-dependent. There are a number of parameters to consider. Start with the composition of your plastic. Are abrasive fillers present? Glass, for example, can embed in the contacting metal surface. Depending on particulate size, geometry and hardness, damage can be severe.

But your plastic has no fillers? Still, your metal shows wear?

Consider softer plastics, or those that integrate PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). Under applied pressure and velocity, a thin transfer of film to the contacting metal surface may be just right. Friction is reduced. Problem solved. Wear is over, right?

Yes, if you roughen your metal surface a little to promote adherence. And be sure your finish orientation is parallel with the direction of rub. Shear forces must be reduced for lower wear.

Break-in complete. Steady-state shows dramatic improvements to wear life. Your design has won the war against metal wear from rubbing plastic. Mission accomplished!

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