Materials: 'Cryogenics' Polymer for Energy Industry

High-performance PEEK Victrex CT200 targeted to dynamic sealing applications in the storage and transportation of gases at extremely low (cryogenics) temperatures.

A new high-performance PEEK polymer developed by Victrex, West Cosnhohocken, Penn, is said to offer the cryogenics industry a sealing solution with a broader range of usage temperature compared to existing polymers such as PCTFE. Victrex CT 200 is designed for dynamic sealing applications where gases such as LNG are stored and transported at cryogenic temperatures -238°F to -328°F)].

As the latest member of the Victrex CT polymers, the 200 grade series reportedly exhibits improved sealing over a wider range of temperatures, compared to commonly used materials such as PCTFE. This is attributed to the new material’s greater ductility, and at high temperatures due to its superior creep resistance.

Victrex CT polymers have also been shown to maintain better dimensional stability, with a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than incumbent materials. Their higher thermal conductivity is said to enable a fast response to temperature changes, ensuring the material is engaged with the counter-surface at all times. In addition, laboratory testing indicates that they may require less torque to actuate since they have a lower static and dynamic coefficient of friction compared to PCTFE. This results in less wear, higher performance and a potential for cost savings.

Victrex expects VICTREX CT 200 will be of interest to a wide range of potential customers, including valve manufacturers,  processors, and operators in oil and gas. The new product for the energy industry has successfully completed stringent TAT test as per the Shell Mesc 77/300 and holds promise for injection molding, compression molding and extrusion processing advantages. .