WEB EXCLUSIVE: EGC Critical Components, Humble, Texas, recently selected PEEK from Victrex, Conshohoken, Pa., for the self-actuated abeyance seal system in one of the most performance-critical industries, nuclear energy generation. The material selection and design for this application—a self-actuated abeyance seal without the need of springs or pistons—was created to manage potential reactor coolant leaks during an emergency shutdown. Tests have shown this PEEK sealing system alone can add an additional 96 hr of continuous use under the most rigorous operating environments, meeting the demands of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Reactor cooling systems are expected to withstand continuous service of more than 15 years. Testing of the EGC patented sealing system included 2 hr in 400 F water with a sealing pressure of 750 psi. Once completed, the temperature and pressure were increased to 560 F and 1250 psi. Even under extreme conditions and loss of seal cooling, the Victrex PEEK ring within the abeyance seal system was intact, with no appreciable loss of reactor coolant.