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CASE STUDY

For US Military, ML6 High Friction Coatings Outperform All Others In The Field

Polyurethane Gripper Fingers

Meridian Laboratory was able to greatly diversify its product application and polyurethane ML6 usage after being selected by an American defense contractor to provide a solution for its next generation of an unmanned bomb diffusing robot.

Challenge

Meridian Laboratory was able to greatly diversify its product application and polyurethane ML6 usage after being selected by an American defense contractor to provide a solution for its next generation of an unmanned bomb diffusing robot. Challenged by the fact that the raw aluminum fingers were unable to provide enough grip to the items they were grabbing, Meridian Laboratory solved their dilemma through a high-precision, high friction, durable, custom profile.  Since the addition of a thin layer of ML6 polyurethane, the robot is now able to accurately select delicate wires, grip slippery door handles, and puncture through glass with durable and high-friction pincers.

In designing the next generation of the bomb diffusing robot, the American based defense contractor had a problem.  While plenty durable and lightweight, the aluminum pincer fingers they had designed weren’t able to do delicate tasks such as gripping wires, opening vehicle doors, or turning dials and other critical operations. After trying a variety of spray on coatings, molded rubbers, and adhesives they had run out of solutions that would provide high friction coatings with the durability they required.

Solution

Gripper fing

Working collaboratively with Meridian Laboratory’s engineers they were able to reengineer the pincer fingers to have a thin yet intricate profile of polyurethane ML6 applied to their billet aluminum fingers. Featuring complex curves on almost all of the surfaces, Meridian Laboratory developed customized tooling to meet the demanding and exact requirements of the drawings. Meridian Laboratory was able to begin by coating SLA and SLS 3D printed prototype parts.  Once a final design was completed, Meridian Laboratory was able to deliver numerous sets of polyurethane robotic fingers, all to exacting tolerances of +/-0.001” or better.  The end result was a dramatically better performing robotic pincer, providing excellent gripping capability while remaining durable and rugged for over a year of harsh testing.

Key Statistics

  • Polyurethane ML6 was applied to complex curved fingers with an intricate pattern
  • Drastically improved gripping capability of pincer fingers on small and delicate objects
  • High friction polyurethane ML6 able to endure harsh environments and usage

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Google Rating

5.0 40 reviews

  • Avatar Alex Charters ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
    I contacted Meridian Laboratory to obtain a slip ring for my Undergraduate Senior Capstone project. The project required … More a slip ring capable of highspeed data transfer with very little noise to drive an LED bar on a fan to generate images. Sven Krause was very knowledgeable and responsive and helped me figure out what product I needed. He even managed to get the slip ring donated to our team and had great advice on how to integrate it into our project. The project was a huge success thanks to Meridian Laboratory.
  • Avatar Max Thorne ★★★★★ 4 months ago
    I had a great experience working with Vance Nelson on a batch of custom polyurethane wheels. He provided fantastic design … More and material property advice related to my application and was able to deliver high quality wheels in a fast time frame at a reasonable price. I'd highly recommend working with Vance and Meridian Lab in the future
  • Avatar Andrew Diles ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    I've had the pleasure of working with Meridian Laboratory for the past couple of years, and they have revolutionized … More our product with the parts they created for us. Not only did they create the part, they also gave us advice on which type of material to use, and the combination of those two things has helped us be more efficient and productive.
    Vance has been helpful at every turn, and I look forward to working with him and the team at Meridian Laboratory more in the future. They do superb work.

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