Orkot® materials are a unique combination of reinforced woven fabric and solid lubricants incorporated into a thermosetting resin matrix. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions' proprietary Orkot® TLMM and Orkot® TXMM are increasingly popular as the composite material of choice in hydro and self-lubricating bearings. Equally at home in wet or dry environments, Orkot®'s benefits come from its exclusive properties such as high load capacity, self-lubrication, low coefficient of friction, and easy machinability.
Orkot® has a history of fifty years of exemplary performance as a testament to its capabilities. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions was founded in 1905 as part of the precision seals business of the Smiths Group. Known as Polymer Sealing Solutions, the business was made up of four rubber units named Busak+Shamban, Frosheda, Dowty Automotive, and Shamban.
Trelleborg acquired Polymer Sealing Solutions in 2003 and changed the name of all manufacturing locations to Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. By 2007, all other names were retired, and all the company's locations were brought under the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions umbrella.
Orkot® materials are non-toxic, have excellent wear characteristics, and reduce friction. They are equally suitable for use in water and water-based fluids as well as oil- or grease-lubricated applications.
All of which begs the question: How is the efficient, durable Orkot® manufactured?
Where Is Orkot® Manufactured?
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions manages its high-tech operations with a fully integrated management system. State of the art, it incorporates AS 9100 Quality Management System, ISO 4500 Health and Safety Management System, and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
Trelleborg's Streamwood USA facility designs and manufactures standard and customized injection molded thermoplastics and thermoset composite products like Orkot® for bearings and sealing applications. Trelleborg's certifications ensure you're getting a top-quality product:
- ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) Certificate of Design Assessment
- USACE - CERL TR 99/104 (Hydropower)
- ISO 14001:2015
- ISO 9001-2015
- AS 9100D
How Is Orkot® Manufactured?
The Orkot® manufacturing process is a multi-step procedure that begins with resin mixing.
During this first step, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), lubricants, and MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide) are combined, then a catalyst is added to the mix to form the resin.
A fabric composite of fine weave fibers is submerged in the resin mix to obtain a coating. To prepare it for the next step, the fabric is wrapped to the desired outside diameter around a mandrel (a cylindrical rod with metal or other material that's forged or shaped around it).
The curing process uses a custom-designed oven in which the thermoplastic chains become longer, and the chain intersections bind together. This bond is extra strong and irreversible. Working at the molecular level, Orkot's® thermosetting materials form a dense, 3D network using long chains of cross-linked chemical polymer molecules. This network ensures the integrity of the solid material. Once the polymer has cured or solidified, it has a high level of chemical and mechanical stability, which is irreversible. This sets Orkot's® materials above other thermoplastic polymers.
When the curing process is complete, Orkot's® polymers will not experience a melting point at high temperatures, and they will not reach a glass transition point at low temperatures. This stability alleviates the risk of chatter or brittleness when the material is exposed to cold, even the extreme cold of cryogenic conditions.
Heated Orkot® material is removed from around the mandrel. These mandrels are of various diameters and their bushing ID size, approximately 0.25-inch to 60-inch diameters typically, are used depending on the size of the bearing. Tube lengths are standard at 24 inches.
The conventional machining methods used for working with aluminum, brass, or lignum vitae easily adapt to working with Orkot® , fashioning the material into tubes, sheets, or other custom shapes.
The standard Orkot® tube shape varies in wall thickness and is normally available at 24” in length, but can be customized. Sheets are normally produced at a standard size of 24” by 48”, but can be larger if needed. Sheet thickness varies depending on sheet dimensions and weight. The press has a plate size of 53” by 33” with a ram opening height of roughly 11”. Any sheet size outside of those dimensions is limited to a 200 lb maximum. So, a sheet of up to 120” length can be wrapped, but is limited to a 200 lb max in totality.
Tubes and flat sheets can be made using the fabric reinforced polymer matrix if required. Once the curing process is completed, the product's laminated structure is designed to withstand extremely high pressure, even when applied perpendicular to the laminate.
Orkot® for Hydroelectric Power Plants
The Trelleborg Group has been a world leader in engineered polymer solutions for over fifty years, reporting an annual income in 2021 of almost $34 billion (USD) and operations in over 50 countries. Trelleborg's Orkot® TLMM or Orkot® TXMM proprietary solutions could be the best solution for improving your hydroelectric modernization project. For more information, contact CRC Distribution, the official US Distribution Channel Partner for Trelleborg's sealing products.
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