During the recent edition of MECSPE 2024 in Bologna, WAIRCOM MBS SpA premiered the new PA series of ISO 15552 cylinders. The new PA series cylinders are equipped with a coating in PA11 (= polyamide 11 = Rilsan® by Arkema) and offer an innovative solution for industrial applications. The cylinders, made of aluminium alloy coated in Rilsan®, with rod and screws in stainless steel, are available in the bores provided by the mentioned standard included by the Ø 32 to Ø 100. The PA series aims to provide an advantageous alternative to traditional stainless steel cylinders, generally much heavier and more expensive (see Graph 1). Rilsan® coating provides corrosion resistance similar or superior to most stainless steels, including duplex and super duplex, at a much lower cost.
The graph on the left compares the cost of a piping system coated with Rilsan® to several stainless-steel solutions. Thanks to these new features, the PA series cylinders proposed by WAIRCOM MBS SpA are an effective and economical choice for different industrial needs and applications that span a wide range of sectors, including maritime (naval, offshore and underwater), oil and gas installations, agricultural activities, fish farming, textile and yarn industries, automotive and general transport, fluid control and transfer, construction, and many other activities closely related or not to those listed above. The experience and expertise of Waircom MBS, a historic Italian company, among the first to take the first steps in the field of pneumatics worldwide, allow it to provide customized and cutting-edge solutions to meet the most particular needs of each specific sector, ensuring maximum efficiency and quality.
This variety of uses is supported by the experience of the X, XT and AX series ISO 15552 cylinders, widely tested over time and known for their reliability and resistance. These cylinders are suitable for a wide range of applications thanks to the robustness of the components used and the ability of Waircom MBS to develop numerous customized variants in collaboration with the customer.
It is also important to highlight the wide range of accessories available for these cylinders that are designed to ensure the correct fixation of the same, both in compliance with standard regulations and to meet special needs. In some cases, you can treat the accessories with the PA11 coating to ensure greater strength and durability or use stainless steel ones. In addition, we cannot forget the sensors available for checking the position of the piston. These sensors allow monitoring of the position of the piston, in every point of the cylinder stroke also through analogue outputs or via IO-link technology. These sensors are also available in ATEX environments.
As said, the PA series cylinders Rilsan® treatment is based on polyamide 11, a unique polymer, the result of Arkema’s innovative vision over 70 years ago. Among the pioneers in the industry in general, this particular powder for the coating of metals has entered the market successfully, paving the way for a wide range of applications in continuous expansion around the world. Today, polyamide 11 is recognised as one of the most versatile and advanced coatings available on the market, confirming its leading position in multiple industries.
The characteristics of this material make the PA series cylinders successfully usable in different applications. In particular, we emphasised the excellent corrosion resistance that makes the cylinders particularly suitable in contexts where aggressive atmospheric agents are present or exposed to corrosive chemicals, representing, as already mentioned, a durable alternative to stainless steel. See the graph below (see Graph 2), where Rilsan® coating is the best for both epoxy coating and AISI 316 stainless steel about cavitation resistance (ASTM G32).
Also, about seawater, compared to the use of ad hoc coatings for naval applications approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well highlighted in the following photos related to some tests of resistance to immersion in seawater/salt (Accelerated ageing of carbon steel plates in seawater at 80 °C for 6 months):
Substantially after 6 months of immersion in seawater, with coating in Rilsan®, there is no rust point, unlike what happens with the coatings approved by IMO, while the Rilsan® can be used for years at 20ºC without any rust point. In addition, its exceptional resistance to wear and abrasion* makes it a durable and sturdy material, ideal for uses that require frequent mechanical stress and friction. The low coefficient of friction helps to reduce wear and improve performance in terms of smoothness and fluidity. The high resistance to hydrocarbons and various chemicals makes the PA series cylinders versatile and suitable for particularly demanding industrial contexts, ensuring constant performance and reliability over time. In addition, treatment compliance with the most demanding specifications for contact with drinking water and compatibility with food products make it a safe and reliable material for use in the food and pharmaceutical industry.
Other important features of the treatment used in the PA series cylinders are excellent resistance to wear and cavitation, good resistance to UV rays, electrical insulation, and resistance to alkaline and chlorinated hot water.
Finally, last but not least, when you state that the Rilsan® is Bio-based, you mean just that!
Rilsan® is an extraordinary material that is produced exclusively using a 100% renewable raw material of plant origin, Ricinus Communis, commonly known as castor oil, obtained from the seeds of the same plant, which is grown sustainably and renewable in tropical regions.
This thermoplastic has several significant advantages: first, it is important to note that Rilsan® is not directly affected by the fluctuation of oil prices, ensuring greater economic stability. In addition, the use of Rilsan® does not cause pollution in the workplace, thus helping to preserve the health and well-being of workers.
Another fundamental point is that the Rilsan® doesn’t release volatile substances, neither toxic nor unpleasant odours, making it a safe and healthy option for the environment and those who use it. Thanks to these characteristics, the cylinders of the PA series treated with the Rilsan® are an ideal solution for the protection of the environment and to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. In essence, the Rilsan® is not only a technological innovation but also a concrete opportunity to adopt a responsible and conscious approach towards the protection of the environment. Its production from a renewable plant raw material is a tangible example of how it is possible to reconcile the needs of industry with respect for nature and the well-being of future generations.