I'm copying both the metalworking and woodworking groups. I hope this
doesn't piss anyone off too badly. I believe the answers and knowledge that
may get passed around is mutually beneficial. Thus the breach in newsgroup
Anyhow... I've got a unique problem.
I sell a product that acts basically like an air cylinder. It has a tube
(hard chrome plated inside for you metal guys) with a quill (hard chrome
plated also) and some rubber seals inside.
One of my customers is a medical giant. They can't have ANY type of
lubricant in the cylinder as they run the drill or the FDA comes in and
gives them hell.
So... They basically super-dry their air with a desiccant and dryers so
that it is down to 0.01% humidity or less and use absolutely no oil
whatsoever inside the unit.
After 2-3 years of running like this, the unit doesn't stroke so well. The
seals are dried out and the cylinder, although still sealed properly, needs
up to 80 PSI air to stroke at all. Normally, they stroke at 15 PSI or so...
Anyone know of a lubricant that could be used that would not cause medical
(food grade or better maybe?) issues?
Can't use oil, grease, dry powder stuff, etc. Can't even use water...
I was thinking something like medical grade alcohol or acetone that
disappears all by itself if it gets to the atmosphere... But I bet there is
a better option.
As a side note, the tube and quill will stroke millions of times with no
lube without wearing out. We've done long-term tests... The tolerances
between quill and tube are around 0.001" and the quill diameter is around 3"
if it matters.
Having just read a bunch of posts about air tools and proper lube made me
think that there might be an expert in here with some ideas...
Joe Agro, Jr.
Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com
Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
Production Tapping: http://Production-Tapping-Equipment.com /
Flagship Site: http://www.Drill-N-Tap.com