Mitsui Chemicals
UHMW-PE grades offered by Mitsui meet diverse industry needs due to the material's excellent chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, impact resistance and self-lubrication properties.

LUBMER™: Markets, applications & benefits

UHMW-PE offers excellent mechanical properties and abrasion resistance but its processability has been a challenge. LUBMER™ UHMW-PE, developed by Mitsui using proprietary polymerization technology, makes it possible to overcome the processing issues. LUBMER™ is an injection and extrusion moldable UHMW-PE with high-processability which can be used for the production of high-performance molded parts. It may be utilized as a replacement molding material, as a substitute for PTFE or as a tribology modifier in engineering plastics. LUBMER™ is a very low friction material when compared to other plastics. Parts produced with LUBMER™ have a longer life span due to efficient sliding properties of the material and work noiselessly even in a lubricant free environment. LUBMER™ offers the following advantages over other specialty engineering resins such as POM and PA66.

  • Low friction coefficient
  • Self-lubrication
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • Good impact strength
  • Exceptional mechanical strength
  • Strong chemical resistance
  • Superior heat and water resistance

LUBMER™ is used in a broad range of applications including automotive, electronics, building materials and parts.

LUBMER friction
Figure 1: LUBMER™ is a low friction material with a coefficient of friction well below other engineering plastics such as PA66 and POM

Electronic/Electrical/Office Automation Equipment Parts

Due to its excellent wear resistant properties, LUBMER™ is an ideal resin for use in electronic and electrical devices which subject components to high wear and stress. It can be used for making various types of printer rollers due to the materials high abrasion resistance and non-adhesion to printing ink and toner. It is also suitable for making paper holders, toner scrapper holders and paper sorting claws due to its sliding properties and noiseless function. LUBMER™ can efficiently replace POM, HIPS, fluoropolymers, polyester, rubber containing POM and some metals in various electronic applications. LUBMER™ has excellent electrical insulating properties and is suitable for use as primary insulation layer for providing protection to electrical cables.

LUBMER™ can be used to produce light-weight, greaseless, abrasion-resistant gears and bearings with superb noiseless function. Figure 2 compares the coefficient of dynamic friction for a range of loads for 3 materials: polyamide, POM and LUBMER™. LUBMER™ shows the smallest friction coefficient and the largest critical PV value. (Critical PV value is a measure of the highest load and speed combination under which the material will slide)

LUBMER sliding properties
Figure 2: LUBMER™ has a critical PV value 5 times that of polyamide and more than 3 times that of POM

Automotive Applications

LUBMER’s self-lubrication, good sliding properties, high wear resistance, noiseless function and mechanical endurance offers clear advantages over traditional materials. The engineered polymer yields excellent parts with ultra-low water absorption and reduced weight due to the low specific gravity. It can replace POM, urethane and other materials in certain automotive applications such as production of assist straps, seat belt components, glass run channels and shock-spacers for trucks. LUBMER™ can be used easily in an injection, extrusion, or insert mold process for the production of automotive components. It can also be coextruded with EPDM which contributes to increased production efficiency and overall cost reduction. For example, LUBMER™ can be co-extruded for the production of automotive glass run channel seals to replace additional PA flock and PU weather strip coating steps.

LUBMER™ exhibits better sliding properties than PTFE and molybdenum disulfide, when used as an additive in low dosage. It remarkably improves the sliding properties of PA6 when added in a 5-10% weight ratio. Figure 9 shows that LUBMER (LY1040) is more efficient at reducing the coefficient of friction of PA6 than PTFE. Addition of just 5% of LUBMER™ to PA6 reduces the coefficient of friction to a value well below that achieved by addition 10% PTFE.

Kinetic Friction coffecient
Figure 3: Addition of 5-10% LUBMER™ to PA6 reduces the coefficient of friction to a level well below that achieved through the addition of PTFE

POM test
Figure 4: Coefficients of friction of LUBMER™, PA6 and POM when tested with rings made with PA6, POM and S45C

LUBMER™ exhibits the lowest coefficient of friction, in ring abrasion tests, with a variety of materials including PA6, POM and S45C (Carbon Copper). Figure 10 shows that PA6 and POM test pieces produce a squeaking noise with PA6, POM and S45C rings; LUBMER works noiselessly and produces low friction with all three materials.

LUBMER™ also performs better than PTFE in improving the durability and abrasion resistance of PA6. Figure 11 compares the results of an abrasion ring test in which PA6 modified with 10% LUBMER, pure PA6 and PA6 modified with 10% PTFE were tested. LUBMER modified PA6 shows the lowest wear due to abrasion.

Figure 5: Abrasion resistance comparison of PA6 modified with LUBMER™ and PA6 modified with PTFE

Abrasion loss test
Figure 6: Addition of 5-10% LUBMER™ to PA6 reduces the abrasion loss to a level well below that achieved through the addition of PTFE

Figure 6 shows the quantitative results of the comparative abrasion test. The abrasion loss of PA6 is reduced by almost 90% due to the addition of only 5% LUBMER™. The abrasion loss from PA6 containing 5% of LUBMER™ is well below the abrasion loss from PA6 containing 10% of PTFE. Materials which can be modified with LUBMER™ include Polyamides (PA6, PA66, Aromatic-PA), POM, PBT, PET, PC, ABC and PPS.

Other Applications

LUBMER™ can withstand alcohols, sulfuric acids, oils, hydrogen peroxide, phosphoric acid and alkalis. It has excellent resistance to foodstuffs with only a few exceptions. LUBMER™ is formaldehyde free and available in grades which comply with food sanitation rules. It is therefore a good candidate for use in food-contact applications where a combination of self-lubricity and wear resistance is required.

LUBMER™ is used in sound proofing applications due to its good noise absorption qualities which significantly contribute to reducing operating and impact noises. Bearings for film development processors, motor bearings for vending machines, chain/belt for food machinery, curtain rail rings, furniture rails/rollers, aqueduct valve parts and a host of other components can be produced using the material.


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