Molecular Material Changes Help Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies Simrit Address Hydraulic Challenges

New polyurethane will be showcased at company's IFPE booth (#81330)

LAS VEGAS – Amid the giant earthmoving machinery and massive hydraulic components on display at 2014 Fluid Power, Power Transmission, Motion Control Exposition (IFPE) and CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas, is a new break-through technology that relies upon molecular innovation. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies Simrit will display seals made from a new generation of polyurethane targeted to address crucial fluid power challenges, such as more aggressive environments, higher temperatures and longer operating periods.

"Freudenberg-NOK's new polyurethane material is more resistant to water and synthetic hydraulic fluids and withstands major temperature fluctuations better than existing polyurethanes," said Dr. Jurgen Hieber, head of Materials Development at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies' Schwalmstadt, Germany facility where seals from the new material are made. Hieber worked on the polyurethane formula for three years before perfecting it.

The new material is the best on the market today, Hieber said, and is especially well-suited for use in construction and agricultural machinery, and materials-handling equipment. Seals made from the new polyurethane offer manufacturers the ability to meet diverse working conditions without maintaining an inventory of different components, such as hydraulic cylinders that address unique environmental demands. With a standard operating range of -35 degrees C to +120 degrees C, the material stays flexible at low temperatures and stable at high temperatures. In fact, Freudenberg-NOK engineers targeted prolonged thermal resistance in developing the new polyurethane. Through polymer engineering - a core competency of Freudenberg-NOK - this new material has been developed by making use of an advanced molecular architecture that favors viscoelastic material behavior.

"Our engineers saw the needs in the market and met them," said Mathias Burkert, a Freudenberg Sealing Technologies product manager in Schwalmstadt. "Today's mobile machinery is being developed for worldwide use. Seals must perform their function in the desert as well as in frozen climates, and must do so reliably for the lifetime of the equipment. We have achieved the objectives of being more robust and lasting longer."

"The new material is superior to other polyurethanes in all relevant areas," agreed Hieber. "It offers superb performance in heat and cold, can be used in mineral hydraulic fluids at up to 120 degrees C and is safe from damage due to hydrolysis even when used in water heated to 80 degrees C."

The new polyurethane also performs excellent under pressure. In a comparison test with various extrusion gaps and pressures, seals with the new generation of polyurethane show no appreciable sign of wear, while conventional seals malfunction prematurely. Its tear strength also surpasses current possibilities measuring around 120 megapascals, or 35 percent above other materials.

In addition, the material doubles extrusion stability thus avoiding damage caused by the peaks in pressure commonly experienced in heavy duty equipment.

"As a result, we can apply much more pressure on the cylinders than we could previously," Hieber said. "Our products have been engineered to last three to four times longer than others using this new material."

About Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies

Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies is the Americas joint venture between Freudenberg and Co. in Germany and NOK Corp. in Japan. Freudenberg-NOK is a leading producer - through its Automotive, Merkel, Process Seals and Simrit sales channels - of advanced sealing technologies for a variety of markets including: aerospace; agriculture;  appliance; automotive; construction; diesel engine; energy; food and beverage; heavy industry; and pharmaceutical. Founded in 1989 under the legal name Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, Freudenberg-NOK is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich. and operates more than 20 facilities across the Americas. For additional information, please visit


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