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Airtech

Rubber and Victrex Peek Polymer-Based Composite Developed For Sealing Applications

18 October 2011

Daetwyler and Victrex Polymer Solutions have worked collaboratively to form a composite material that combines Victrex PEEK polymer and rubber.

Victrex say the joint collaboration focused on combining NBR (acrylonitrile butadiene rubber) and FPM (fluoroelastomer) with Victrex PEEK polymer-based APTIV film, for the goal of developing a composite material suitable for seals providing low permeation.They say the seal has to be precise with the right balance of rigidity and flexibility to produce a tight and durable connection with the substrate in order to avoid leaks, which can lead to maintenance downtime or even costly system failure. FPM is used for applications at high temperature or to provide resistance against chemicals or gasoline and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) rubber which is resistant to polar media commonly used for sealing in brake fluids. Victrex explain that while these materials can offer excellent resistance to heat and chemical corrosion, they are usually too soft and flexible for use as seals in more extreme operating conditions. Seals used in industrial settings require additional rigidity and even higher levels of resistance to creep and deformation to provide durable, tight seal solutions with minimal permeation.

Victrex explain that their PEEK polymer offers higher mechanical and thermal performance levels, compared to other thermoplastics, and excellent chemical resistance, including hydrolysis resistance. In addition, they say the polymer exhibits compressive creep resistance at elevated temperatures, resulting in high reliability and is FDA certified for food safety making is suitable for use in industrial food processing applications.

Daetwyler and Victrex have combined the relatively hard Victrex PEEK polymer in a film format with selected elastomers for the formation of durable, tight seals using a single composite, thus simplifying the assembly and mount processes. They say the resulting composite meets the requirements for rugged industrial seals by demonstrating low creep under high mechanical loads, little expansion in the presence of fluids and steam, extremely high chemical resistance, and very low permeation.

Victrex and Daetwyler are interested in discussing uses for the new polymer-rubber composite with potential customers to establish how it can best be applied to address their specific requirements for high performance seals in a diverse range of demanding applications.