Nituff—What is It?
Many of our Star Plates, Star Pumps, and other tools use Nituff coating. If you'd like to know more about this process, then read on.
Nituff® is a protective treatment that was developed in the early 1970s by Nimet Industries of South Bend, Indiana. According to Nimet VP Guy Ellis:
We had a large customer that made packaging equipment, one-of-a-kind machines for food and drug packaging. The customer was using us for hard-coat anodizing, but they were looking for a finish that would have a lower coefficient of friction than conventional hard-coat. Our company founders developed a way to use Teflon (PTFE) to do that on hard-coat anodize parts.
Our particular Nituff coating is hard coat black anodizing with a Teflon coating. It is sealed on top to make the coating slippery. Nothing sticks to it, and it's a breeze to clean up. Each tool has to go through 20 baths to get this coating.
The same PF Online article goes on to explain the uses and benefits of Nituff:
Nituff anodizing of aluminum combines the high hardness, corrosion resistance and other properties of an anodize finish with a low coefficient of friction and dry lubricating properties. It is used for aircraft and aerospace components, injection molds, composite material forming equipment, spray paint applicators, soldering nests, hot melt glue equipment, sonic welding and thermal sealing equipment for plastics, and military night vision hardware. Other applications for Nituff parts include medical, dental, pharmaceutical and food processing equipment and fluid power components.
According to Nimet, the wear surfaces of hydraulic or pneumatic valves and cylinders treated with Nituff exhibit a 10-fold decrease in coefficient of friction compared with uncoated aluminum surfaces. The Nituff® surfaces also demonstrate excellent resistance to corrosion in severe environments.
We've been coating our tools with Nituff since the 1980s. Originally we had them done by Nimet. But now that more companies are doing it (with competition bringing down the costs), we send our tools for coating by a firm down on the south side of Chicago. It's still a slow and costly process, but we think it's definitely worth it.