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SpecialistMichael
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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I am trying to make two rubber objects become super slippery

Resolved Question:

I am trying to make two rubber objects become super slippery when they are in contact with each other, permanently, without relying on liquid. Is there a super slippery (high viscosity) type of rubber coating that exists, one that will remain slippery for many years. Maybe there is a rubber that is infused with car-radiator-"coolant"-like or "WD-40"-like filler.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: General
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX you for using Justanswer.

Are you looking for something within the rubber itself or something you can coat to items with specifically?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ideally, within the rubber itself, a rubber composition that would allow the rubber objects to swish around against each other. If nothing like that exists, than perhaps a permanent coating that could be applied to the rubber objects.

More specifically, I am trying to put a bunch of bouncy rubber balls into a box and for the balls to easily slide against each other, without adding any kind of liquid. Is there any type of rubber composition that could make the rubber balls easily slide against each other, permanently? Thanks alot for your help.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
This is going to be another odd question - but what operating temperature would you want this to perform at?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good ?. Typical "room temperatures;" normal household temperatures ranging from say 40-90 degrees F.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
There are a couple issues - the coefficient of friction for certain rubbers is what cause them to store so much energy as well as grip(anything really) so greatly.

We know that there are some rubbers(used in winter tires) out there that are combined with silica to create a temperature resistant material that is stiff enough to allow aggressive ice and winter gripping tread patterns(max grippable area) while maintaining a decent tensile strength and rigidity.

Unfortunately at warm temperatures, this silica acts to actually slip too much and in winter areas that may have flash warm fronts, winter tires end up getting destroyed if people choose to run in the heat on them...plus they grip terribly.

The other thing, which goes against what you were hoping for is most silicone, found in over the counter tire shining products(especially those with a solvent or oil base for the silicone carrier) makes rubber so slick that you aren't supposed to put that stuff on the treads of tires or on any of the vehicle controls or pedals. Some of them (the really oily or strong solvent ones) can be pretty darn durable and last quite a while.

The other option you might try is something like PAM cooking spray, but I would encourage you to try the tire dressings as rubber is generally made to buffer impact, but doing so means its usually very high energy(in the case of these balls) or so low energy that the properties of "fun", (bounce) end up nonexistent. Your best bet would be to find a ball that has a SMOOOOOOTH surface though, or somehow smooth the balls so the little invaginations on the surface don't act as mini "fingers" gripping everything they contact.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for aggresively attacking this unusual question. So my take on your reply is that no additive really comes to mind which could be infused into the rubber's composition to make it still durable and bouncy yet feel super slick when the balls are sqished together in a confined box. However, I might try adding a slick spray (albeit not permanent lasting) to the as-smooth-as-possibly-"buffed" exterior surface of the rubber balls (perhaps a spray applied to the existing gloss coating of the balls). Ya, i forgot to mention that the balls already have a gloss coating but the coating actually serves to 'grip' instead of 'slip.' So basically, if i want the balls to perform like i envision, I would have to find some other inventive process to make the rubber 'permanently' spin-rotate-and-slide off of each other when the balls are crunched together. Have I interpreted your assesment correctly? I realize this is the oddest question ever.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.

Its good stuff for the techy and science "nerds" here on justanswer, though I may have just singled myself out :).

Also, the reason I asked about temperature is that high energy, easily deformable rubbers like the balls have, don't usually perform as well in cold. This is because everything slows down, as far as the molecular "speed" in the cold, speeds up and thus is more grippy in the warmth.

Obviously freezing a box of these is impractical which is why I mentioned the silica compound to potentially used.

The other thing you could try, is something like a baby powder dispersed evenly lightly through an airbrush(I realize this is really impractical). This is often used for slipping at powerlifting meets during the deadlift where guys are pulling very hard against their legs(and skin and leg hair) and need lubrication.

Ultimately, the rubber to maintain its super energy capacity would need an ULTRA slick super finely milled outer surface or a slight change in the rubber compound(which would trade off the bounce). But give the tire dressing a shot, or PAM.

I hope this helps Phillip

SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience: Senior Information Specialist
SpecialistMichael and 101 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much. Hope i didnt give you a headache. Unfortunately, i cant use anything wet on the balls, which i should have mentioned earlier. Your advice will lead me to examining the surface of the balls under extreme magnification to brainstorm for other ideas. Although a very clever idea, I dont think the baby powder option is permanent enough to work for my purposes, either. If anything else comes to mind or if you are curious about my project, u can reach me at p h i l l i p . g r a n @ g m a i l. Thx again!!!
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
I thought of something else, I just want to research a little bit on it though. Your project sounds really cool - I was trying to think about what it was ultimately for.

I will respond right back here and you will get your notification right to your email.

I enjoy helping customers like you, especially with tricky stuff that requires detail.

If I can help with any other questions you can just use this link here and ask me directly -http://www.justanswer.com/general/expert-cscsmike/
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Really? I thought for sure i was giving you a triple tumor migrane headache! Ha!

The only concern i have with discussing the entire scope of the project here is the details of my big picture idea being easily accessed by anyone doing a google search. I'm experimenting with different novel cushion design ideas. I'm really interested in your lastest thought. Please let me know when you get a chance.

Happy to always chat, and i really appreciate all your ideas.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
That truly sounds interesting.

I will be back in touch - I just want to try to see if I can find more on the idea I thought of for another option for this.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 1 year ago.
OK Phillip so I have been reading trying to find some of the main ingredients of this idea I had.

Tire production actually uses a mold release compound so the tires slide out of the casting mold. After doing some research these too actually use silicone in the compound to keep the tire production quick and efficient.

These however are designed for quick wearing(because it makes tires slippery and obviously we want some traction) but if you can find the type of silicone as well as whatever gives it its short duration you could modify those. You could even try car wax at this point...

Which leads me to where I first got the idea. Gelcoat, what boats and some RVs are made from actually uses a mold release wax in the their manufacturing processes. While neither of these machines are made from rubber bodies, the idea behind it could be the same and prove effective.

If I find an MSDS sheet for your to reference I will let you know. I would guess however its probably some sort of hydrocarbon and then some sort of methicone or silicone otherwise to provide the release.
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience: Senior Information Specialist
SpecialistMichael and 101 other General Specialists are ready to help you

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