Historically, the use of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in bearings has been limited due to poor wear life and low adhesion to most substrates. SurfTec has eliminated these weaknesses, enabling the use of PTFE in previously unfeasible applications. SurfTec offers a high performing PTFE coating with a low coefficient of friction (COF) and resistance to moisture, wear, and corrosion. This coating was inspired by the tenacious ability of aquatic mussels to adhere to seemingly any surface – even to PTFE which is known for its ability to resist practically all adhesives. We have developed both dip coating and spray coating procedures to rapidly deposit PTFE composite films of precise and uniform thicknesses on a variety of surfaces. SurfTec’s adhesion technology forms coordination bonds with the steel substrate and works to render the surface of PTFE chemically active, improving adhesion and cohesion in the coating. In tribological tests, the coating has shown to withstand contact pressures as high as 1.5 GPa at sliding speeds of 0.21 m/s. The key benefits of SurfTec’s dry lubrication design are summarized in Figure 1.
SurfTec is a privately held company formed in 2015 to commercialize the patented PDA/PTFE technology pioneered by the company founders, Dr. Samuel Beckford, CEO, and Dr. Min Zou, CTO. The vision of SurfTec is to pioneer the development of innovative material surfaces based on nanotechnology. The team’s background in Surface Engineering, Materials Science, Tribology, and Nanomechanics and involvement in academic research is a significant advantage for continuous innovation. SurfTec envisions its coating technology selling globally and becoming the standard lubricant used in bearings for many applications. The effective implementation of SurfTec’s coating will not only have a large impact on maintenance costs by eliminating premature failure in mechanical systems, but will serve as a ground breaking transition point from the use of outdated lubrication practices to state-of-the-art nano-coatings.