Case Studies

The food and beverage industry banks on NEOGOL™ TPO and APILON™ 52 TPU

NEOGOL™ for ball bearing SKF

Suitable products for every industry

Each business has its unique challenges. In order to answer the market requirements, it is vital to improve technical equipment constantly and solve challenges like increased machine uptime, reduced maintenance, improved safety, energy savings, and lower Total Cost of Ownership. The bearing manufacturer SKF supports multiple industry sectors with individualized solutions and products that meet different business challenges and needs. 

The Swedish company, founded in Gothenburg in 1907, manufactures and supplies bearings and units, seals, motion technologies, and lubrication systems to many industries, such as food and beverage, agriculture, automation, and cars and light trucks.

When it comes to the food and beverage branch, SKF customers must meet strict requirements. Rigorous health, safety, and environmental regulations as well as ambitions to optimize production and reduce costs lead to ongoing adjustments of the production line. This is where SKF steps in. They developed a new food line ball bearing unit for one of their customers, combining hygienic design, relubrication-free technology, and corrosion resistance while utilizing food grade components and allergen-free grease. 

SKF housing seal for ball bearing unit mad with Trinseo's NEOGOL™ A70 7 Z032 BLUE

Housing seal of a food line ball bearing unit
Material: NEOGOL™ A70 7 Z032 BLUE 

NEOGOL™ A70 7 Z032 BLUE passing all SKF life tests

Trinseo’s NEOGOL™ A70 7 Z032 BLUE was the material of choice for the housing seal of a food line ball bearing unit. The seal had to perfectly fit the location where it is anchored with the production machine and had to guarantee a cohesive adhesion with the rigid frame of PP. Our NEOGOL™ TPO grade successfully met these requirements and the SKF life tests. The material also met the requirements of EU 10/2011/EU and US FDA (21 CFR) as well as 20023/2006 EC (GMP).

As the production machines are cleaned very regularly, high resistance to detergent soaps and cleaning products was a decisive criterion. Our material lived up to these standards. A further argument to use NEOGOL™ was the combination of flexibility and heat resistance. The complex geometries of SKF bearing units, which include a large variety of sizes and significantly different wall thicknesses across the entire bearing units range, required the use of a material with a very large process window, which NEOGOL™ A70 7 Z032 does indeed have.

SKF ball bearings made with Trinseo NEOGOL™

Housing seal of a food line ball bearing unit (detail)
Material: NEOGOL™ A70 7 Z032 BLUE 

Benefits of the NEOGOL™ OBC Compounds family

The exceptional processability of the NEOGOL™ OBC compounds family ensures high aesthetic quality for large surface areas and allows for significantly reduced thicknesses. NEOGOL™ OBC compounds are olefin block copolymer-based thermoplastic compounds on a “styrene-free” chemical structure, offering excellent resistance to UV and aging. They provide remarkable versatility in terms of hardness range and fabrication techniques. This makes them suitable for a vast range of applications.

NEOGOL™ provides a valid alternative to conventional TPEs in applications not requiring specific physical-mechanical properties produced for markets such as hygiene/sanitary, household goods, toys, sports footwear, furniture, and automotive.

The main technical characteristics of NEGOL™ OBC Compounds:

  • Good hardness range: 20 ShA – 60 ShD
  • UV stable, resistant to ozone and highly weatherproof
  • Optimum resistance to low temperatures
  • Chemical resistance to acids, bases, detergents, and aqueous solutions 
  • Food contact approved (10/2011/EU, FDA)
  • Recyclable

Housing cap features APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC BLUE

The housing cap of the line ball bearing unit is made from APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC BLUE. This material passed the SKF life tests successfully as well and met both requirements of EU 10/2011/EU and US FDA (21 CFR). The high mechanical properties of APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC, together with its flexibility and resilience, allow the innovative SKF cap design to remain mechanically anchored to the housing without the need for any metal or rigid plastic reinforcement. In addition, the use of APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC can guarantee a perfect sealing without any need for a rubber seal in the cap. The main advantages that convinced SKF are its high impact performance, combined with its flexibility, laser mark ability, and hydrolysis resistance.

housing cap of the line ball bearing unit made from APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC BLUE

Housing caps of the line ball bearing
Material: APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC BLUE

Benefits of the APILON™ 52 TPU Compounds family

APILON™ 52 TPU polymers and compounds are a line of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with excellent mechanical properties, high elasticity, and superior resistance to low temperatures. APILON™ TPUs are very durable and suitable for applications where a high level of resistance to abrasion, oils, and fats is necessary. They can be customized to suit specific application requirements. 

housing cap of the line ball bearing unit made from APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC BLUE

Housing cap (detail)
Material: APILON™ 52 TL 55 NS FC BLUE

The main technical characteristics of APILON™ 52 TPU Compounds 

  • Rigid grades with hardness in the range of 40-72 ShD
  • Soft grades with hardness in the range of 40-75 ShA and abrasion resistance < 50 ccm (DIN 53516)
  • Soft grades with hardness in the range of 75-90 ShA and abrasion resistance < 25 ccm (DIN 53516)
  • Special haptic compound provides a rubbery, matte effect
  • Grades with enhanced transparency
  • Recyclable

We are proud that our products convince so many customers in different industries. We appreciate that SKF is confident in the performance of our materials and the cooperation with us and are looking forward to potential new business opportunities.

If you want to learn more about the benefits and advantages of our TPEs, please contact Andrea Mascotto, Trinseo Project Manager Automotive & Engineering at andrea.mascotto@apiplastic.com


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