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Victrex's Heat-resistance PEEK™ Replace Metals & Meet Critical Requirements in Aerospace Sector

SpecialChem / Jun 9, 2011

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WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, USA -- Mandatory requirements for aerospace polymers are weight reduction to lower fuel costs, excellent mechanical strength and dimensional stability, and the ability to meet industry standards and specifications regarding flame, smoke, and toxicity emissions. High-performance VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer is increasingly being specified as it meets these and other rigid requirements especially in metal replacement opportunities across multiple aircraft platforms. It combines these product characteristics and the processing flexibility that is delivering increased efficiency and parts consolidation to lower costs. Besides excellent high temperature and flammability performance, VICTREX PEEK polymer meets another key requirement for aerospace polymers the ability to maintain its properties while withstanding extreme chemical environments including jet fuels and hydraulic fluids.

VICTREX PEEK polymer has exceptional resistance to a wide range of acids, bases, and hydrocarbons allowing for longer-lasting components. Tests have demonstrated that soaking VICTREX PEEK compounds in 70°C (158 °F) Skydrol* hydraulic fluid for 1,000 hours led to less than a 10% change in nominal properties. These tests are backed by more than 20 years of proven performance in both commercial and military aircraft where VICTREX PEEK polymer is specified in hydraulic and fuel system components.

Amphenol Pcd, a division of Amphenol Corporation one of the world's largest manufacturers of interconnect products conducted testing to prove that their glass-filled VICTREX PEEK polymer injection molded P-clamps are not adversely affected after being submerged in aviation Jet A fuel for twelve months at room temperature. Jocelyn Belanger, Senior Design Engineer at Amphenol, stated, "The results showed that there were no visual signs of softening, swelling, or loss of adhesion to the overmolded fluorosilicone cushion in any of the submerged samples removed from the jet fuel. Each sample exposed to the jet fuel passed both cushion adhesion and cushion retention testing."

The ultimate strength of each P-clamp sample after jet fuel submersion was greater than the design ultimate load of 556N (125lbf), with the average ultimate load being 28% higher than the design load. "The ability of VICTREX PEEK polymer to retain its properties after exposure to jet fuel confirmed that the polymer has the strength and chemical resistance to perform in the fuel tank environment where the P-clamps are used to hold wire harnesses and fuel and hydraulic hoses," said Belanger.

Because of their profile of high-performance properties, including outstanding chemical resistance and low specific gravity, VICTREX PEEK polymers are displacing metals, traditional thermoset composites and other plastics in a growing number of aerospace applications. They provide the design flexibility necessary for engineers to develop components and assemblies for the next generation of commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and advanced spacecraft. The global assurance of supply stability of VICTREX PEEK is providing a strong comfort level to engineers who are looking to specify high performance polymers in a wide range of critical aerospace applications.

About Victrex

Headquartered in the UK, Victrex plc is an innovative leading manufacturer of high performance materials, including VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer, VICOTE® Coatings and APTIV™ film. These materials are used in a variety of markets and offer an exceptional combination of properties to help processors and end users reach new levels of cost savings, quality, and performance. All Victrex material production comes under Victrex's ISO 9001 quality registration.

Source: Victrex


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