Bellows suction cups that no longer fear heat or ozone thanks to HNBR


Hydrogenated nitrile rubber (HNBR yellow) is the material used by FIPA to make ten new bellows suction cups which it has just introduced to the market. The product range of FIPA, the material flow experts from Atlanta, GA, now includes suction cups (1.2 and 2.5 folds; diameter from 11 to 60mm) that can stand up to high temperatures and high ozone concentrations.


Removing hot plastic parts from their molds and transporting them to the next step in production is a common task in the plastics and other industries. But since any markings on the product would cause problems during coating, highly temperature-resistant silicon vacuum cups cannot be used. NBR is an alternative, but it lacks the necessary resistance.


Fortunately, FIPA has the solution. It uses hydrogenated nitrile rubber as the base material for its vacuum cups. This special material carries FIPA's trade name "HNBR yellow" and can handle temperatures up to 160°C. HNBR yellow is also unaffected by ozone, has good resistance to oils with a high proportion of additives, and still manages to deliver three important properties: low marking, wear resistance, and abrasion resistance.


From NBR to HNBR: Nitrile Butadiene Rubber is a variety of elastomer that is highly resistant to oils and chemicals and exhibits signs of wear only after extended use. However, it does have the limitation that ozone and heat are nothing short of "poison" for NBR's properties. Fortunately, hydrogenation (the addition of hydrogen atoms to molecules or compounds) can change this.


On a commercial scale, HNBR is manufactured by selectively hydrogenating the double bond in NBR but not the entire nitrile group. The reason for this is simple: the fewer double bonds in the material, the greater heat it will be able to withstand. As a result, fully hydrogenated elastomers exhibit the highest temperature resistance.


HNBR is also valued for its very good mechanical properties. In fact, when all the benefits are considered together, it is the ideal material for preparing FIPA's bellows suction cups for "hot situations". FIPA now has available six HNBR yellow bellows suction cups with 2.5 folds (Ø 11mm to 60mm), and four with 1.5 folds (Ø 11mm to 30mm).


It goes without saying that the bellows suction cups are compatible with the whole FIPA system - in accordance with the philosophy of a modular building block system. Any accessories and further components can be added by the customer as required.
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