The number of industrially based applications of the Polyaryletheretherketone
PEEK™ polymer reflects the excellent physical properties
and procassability of the material. A general overview of the
physical properties relevant to most industrial applications may
be given by considering two of the highest performance areas,
namely, oil exploration and the chemical processing industry.
Geologists use data logging equipment to analyze the nature and
structure of rock in an attempt to locate oil bearing strata.
This may involve sample removal or the use of a probe (acoustic,
radiation, electrical) to evaluate the rock. Although all downhole
materials must have good wear resistance and mechanical strength,
the specific geometries involved and the function of the probe
in chemically aggressive environments. The exclude most conventional
materials. Therefore, an easily processable material which can
withstand temperatures in excess of 392°F (200°C), pressures
up to 580 psi, and has excellent resistance to chemically aggressive
environments, electricity and radiation is required. Natural PEEK™
polymer and GL30 PEEK™ polymer composite grades are chosen
by the oil industry as they are the only materials able to perform
well in such a demanding role.
The GL30 PEEK™ polymer is specially
formulated to contain an optimum amount of short glass fiber reinforcement.
The mechanical properties of the material are greatly enhanced
with little reduction in processability.
PEEK™ polymer and the GL30 PEEK™ polymer composite
grades are becoming increasingly used in the chemical processing
industry due to a combination of excellent mechanical properties,
temperature (500°F (260°C), UL746B) and outstanding chemical
Conventional processing methods (injection
molding, compression molding) are often used to form compressor
plates, seals and pump components used in gas and fluid transport
systems. The excellent fatigue resistance and general mechanical
properties have been shown to outperform fluoropolymers, while
the chemical resistance is vastly superior to metal components
for such applications.
The ability to form thin films on complex
3-dimensional objects means that PEEK™ polymer is often
used to coat metallic parts which operate in chemically aggressive
environments. The formation of these thin films is achieved by
either electrostatic or plasma spray coating techniques.
The chemical processing industry strives for
purity of product. The contamination introduced by materials used
to handle the substances during production is a selection criteria.
PEEK™ polymer is inherently pure, and therefore can be used
in long service applications with extremely low levels of contamination
introduced to the chemical streams being processed. Detailed evaluations
of the chemical resistance, processing and physical properties
of PEEK™ polymer are available upon request.
Some of the most expensive components within fluid or gas containment
systems are the valves, which control flow. The estimated service-lifetime
of a valve is often considered to be a selection criteria for
new or replacement systems. Hex Valve have utilised the mouldability
and the outstanding chemical resistance of the polyaryletherketone
PEEK™ polymer, by forming valve linings in-situ.
Traditionally these components were manufactured
from metals, which was a costly and in-effective procedure. Whereas,
Hex Valve use 450G PEEK™ polymer to mould directly onto
the valve unit which is placed in the tool. This creates a uniform
non-removable lining, which exhibits superior in-service characteristics
over conventional construction materials at a reduced cost per
SPRAY GUN COMPONENTS
The Danish jet-spray manufacturer Gerni, claims
to have revolutionised the water spray cleaning process with the
assistance of the polyaryletherketone PEEK™ polymer. The
new design operates around two principles: the first involves
creating larger drops of water, which at 600 kmh lose very little
of their momentum to the air, and the second focuses on the frequency
of impact between the droplets and the surface to be cleaned (80
Polyaryletherketone PEEK™ polymer forms two identical components
within the device, which act as an eccentric cam to impart a droplet
frequency to the water stream from a stationary jet-head. With
operating pressures approaching 15MPa and localised rotational
heating estimated to be above 1000C, the high performance of PEEK™
polymer is required.
Using PEEK™ polymer for this application adds diversity
to the product, as it may be used for cleaning apparatus with
a variety of chemicals previously deemed too aggressive. The in-service
use of the new equipment has proved beneficial to customers as
up to 50% of water and power may be saved per cleaning operation.
A valve may be considered as a device which either prevents or
allows the flow of a gas or fluid within a system. By this definition
the critical component of the valve is the seat, as this is the
part of the device which prevents leakage flow in the valve closed
position. With hard seats (metal to metal) contaminants of the
system that lodge in the area wilt prevent full closure of the
device. The Polyaryletherketone PEEK™ polymer is used to
form soft seats in valves as it has the ability to deform in order
to complete the seat in such situations.
Saunders Valve chose to use 450GL30 PEEK™
polymer as the seat material for these devices as it exhibits
outstanding creep and fatigue resistance over the outstanding
temperature range associated with PEEK™ polymers. The excellent
chemical resistance and tensile strength of the PEEK™ polymer
components provides an extended service-lifetime over hard seats
and the other thermoplastic materials tested for soft seats.
Traditionally compressor valve plates were constructed from metals.
More recently the Polyaryletherketone PEEK™ polymer has
become the material of choice for the industry. PEEK™ polymer
is ideal for such applications as it combines excellent mechanical
strength with outstanding fatigue and wear resistance.
devices are often used in the transport of chemically aggressive
fluids and one of the major faults with metal compressor plates
was failure through metallic corrosion. Due to the outstanding
chemical resistance of PEEK™ polymer the service-time of
the device is greatly enhanced.
Components manufactured from PEEK™ polymer
may be directly formed using conventional process equipment and
can be used without further machining or annealing. Therefore,
compressor plates may be manufactured at a reduced cost whilst
the service-lifetime of the component is increased.