High Performance Plastics and Their Advantages in Sealing Technology
High-performance plastics play an important role for valves and seals in many different industries. They offer unique advantages over traditional materials for valve and seal components, like metals and elastomers. For instance, many of these polymers are engineered to withstand demanding environments while still providing excellent sealing capabilities, and enhanced durability and reliability. Each polymer is tailored and engineered for specific properties, making them unique from metals.
Common Types of Plastics used in Sealing Technology
There are several types of high-performance plastics that are used in valve and seal components. The more common ones and their characteristics are listed below.
PTFE is widely known for its low friction coefficient, making it an excellent choice for valve seals.
It has exceptional chemical resistance and so is often found in applications that handle corrosive fluids such as harsh chemicals. This type of plastic is also highly temperature resistant and can perform in a wide range of temperatures.
Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK):
PEEK is a versatile high-performance plastic with excellent mechanical properties. It’s popular in steam and hot fluid applications due to its high temperature resistance, especially in applications dealing with harsh chemicals such as acids and hydrocarbons due to its high resistance to them.
PEI is a high-performance plastic with exceptional mechanical strength and stiffness. It exhibits excellent creep resistance, ensuring long-term performance under pressure. PEI also has good chemical resistance and can withstand exposure to many industrial chemicals.
Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS):
PPS is known for its excellent dimensional stability and resistance to creep. It offers good resistance to chemicals, making it suitable for aggressive media. This plastic is often used in
high-temperature applications as well, such as steam and hot water systems.
Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF):
PVDF combines excellent chemical resistance with high mechanical strength. As a result, this material can be found in aggressive chemical environments and at elevated temperatures. PVDF is also suitable for applications involving cryogenic temperatures.
PI is a high-temperature-resistant plastic with good mechanical properties. It has low outgassing properties as well, making it suitable for vacuum applications. PI is commonly used in the aerospace and semiconductor industries.
Advantages of High-Performance Plastic Components for Valves and Seals
High-performance plastics have many advantages over other materials when used in valves and seals.
- Chemical Resistance: High-performance plastics can withstand exposure to various aggressive chemicals, making them suitable for corrosive media applications.
- Temperature Resistance: These plastics offer excellent temperature resistance, allowing them to perform reliably in a wide range of temperatures, from high-temperature to cryogenic environments.
- Low Friction: High-performance plastics typically have low friction coefficients, reducing wear and extending the lifespan of valves and seals.
- Lightweight: Compared to metals, high-performance plastics are lightweight, contributing to overall weight reduction in systems.
- Dimensional Stability: These plastics exhibit low levels of creep and distortion, ensuring tight and reliable sealing over extended periods.
High-performance plastic components for valves and seals offer a range of advantages, making them a preferred choice in many industries where reliability, chemical resistance, and temperature tolerance are crucial factors.
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