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Freudenburg-NOK manufactures sealing technologies with ‘lotus effect’ properties

The lotus effect, also known as superhydrophobicity, is a term that refers to extremely water repellent and self-cleaning properties in leaves and plants. Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies has succeeded in mirroring these characteristics to its seals without changing the sealing material or coating the seal.

The key is in the manufacturing tool, which leaves tiny protrusions on the surface of the seal, invisible to the naked eye, which are measured in microns and modelled after the surface of a lotus flower. This structure resists not only water but also more viscous substances, like honey.

This geometric modification of the surface has attracted the attention from the food and beverage industry. Liquid silicones are well-suited for the industry and for contact with drinking water, particularly for sterilisation solutions.

'For many users, the decisive aspect is the two-fold reduction in the coefficient of friction with the water beading effect,' says Michael Klemt, development engineer, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. 'This is important for the installation of the seal. The new friction-reducing microstructure of the sealing surface can help ease assembly in a dry state without a need for lubrication.'