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Flexible seal rings made of PEEK deliver exceptional ductility

News International-French

20 Dec 2011

These rings from ATO S.r.L., Milan, Italy, a leading compression molder of high-performance semi-finished goods, are made of KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resin, manufactured by Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC, for its exceptional ductility for oil and gas, food processing, medical, and pharmaceutical applications.

KetaSpire KT-820 PEEK provides greater flexibility and elasticity than competitive PEEK grades, according to Davide Polloni, market development manager for ATO. For example, these parts can be folded or twisted in half and then twisted again into three or four small concentric rings. Compression molded seal rings made of KetaSpire PEEK can also be softer and easily machined, added Polloni.



Flexible PEEK seal rings are manufactured via standard compression molding and with ATO’s specially designed Hot Compression Molding (HCM) process. A custom-made HCM machine, developed with a machine partner, produces highly elastic, high-performance semi-finished parts with 30% elongation, which is triple that of traditional compression molding. The elongation test is done on samples manufactured directly from semi-finished products, not from samples made via injection molding. A special feature of the HCM process is the repeatability of the production cycle through computer-controlled parameters to ensure high quality and highly consistent products. The entire production cycle can be traced by the unique identification label for each semi-finished product.



ATO manufactures compression molded seals with a diameters from 2.5 cm to 50 cm (1 inch to 20 inches) and thicknesses of 15 mm to 70 mm (0.6 inches to 2.8 inches). The company also develops custom compounds based on KetaSpire PEEK using PTFE, graphite, glass, carbon fiber, and other special materials to meet customer’s demanding performance requirements.



KetaSpire PEEK is produced to the industry’s highest standards and offers a combination of superlative properties that allow it to replace metal in some of the most severe end-use environments. It is one of the industry’s most chemically resistant plastics and offers excellent strength, superior fatigue resistance, and a continuous-use temperature in excess of 240°C (464°F).



KetaSpire PEEK’s low coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) helps to ensure strong dimensional stability and tight tolerances.




About ATO S.r.L.

ATO S.r.L., based in Milan, Italy, is a leading compression molder of semi-finished goods made of high-performance engineering resins. The company produces seals, bushings, mechanical valves and gears, and other products based on customer specifications for the oil and gas, food processing, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. ATO uses traditional compression molding and its own proprietary process called Hot Compression Molding (HCM) to make parts made of PCTFE, PTFE, PFA, and PEEK.

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About Solvay Specialty Polymers

Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures more products with more performance than any other polymer company in the world. The company supplies over 1500 products across 33 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil & Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire & Cable, and other markets.

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