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Using slip coatings for custom plastic extrusions

A slip coating or capstock can be used to enhance performance of plastic extrusions or to aid part installation.

These coatings are often used in automotive or building applications where components are subjected to repeated friction, such as a window sash or door seal.

Download Intro to Designing Extruded Plastic Profiles

Download Lauren's Intro to Designing Extruded Plastic Profiles

For plastic components, the coating is typically co-extruded.  This differs from the rubber extrusion process, in which slip coatings are typically sprayed or brushed on. However, in both cases the coating is applied in-line with the profile extrusion.

A slip agent may also be blended directly with the plastic compound to improve the material flow during processing. 

For custom plastic extrusions, slip coatings are most effectively used with flexible materials.  

TPV compounds, for instance, can become tacky and exhibit high surface tension. While TPV offers desirable elastic and compression properties, it may not be inherently well suited for dynamic applications in which parts slide or rub against one another.   

The addition of a slip agent can reduce friction, limit abrasion and extend part life. It should also be noted that the coating also will make the part slightly stiffer. 

Slip coatings for plastic are also useful for installation processes, such as when a part is inserted into a tight-fitting groove or channel.  

To ensure slip coatings are cost-effective, Lauren engineers can help ensure the proper grade and amount of slip coating is used to achieve the desired functional benefits.