Proprietary Technology Yields Seamless Tube with 138mm (5.5”) Wall Thickness
Cypress, TX – Drake Plastics Ltd. has produced rigid tube extruded from Torlon® PAI with an unprecedented 450mm (17.7-inch) OD and a 150mm (5.9-inch) ID. Its size and wall thickness represent technological milestones in melt processing ultra high-performance polymers. The massive tube is machined into large components of an alternative energy application where Torlon PAI emerged as the only material to withstand the temperature range involved.
A leading global supplier of advanced polymer semifinished shapes for machining, Drake developed the new size in Torlon PAI using its unique Seamless Tube® extrusion technology. The proprietary melt process yields rigid tube without the weld lines that can be prone to failure under high loads or pressures.
According to Tyler Quance, Drake’s Vice-President of Technology, “Extruding Torlon PAI in this size with no degradation, voids or porosity presented a challenge given the polymer’s high melt temperature and mass of material involved. Our prior experience in extruding 254mm Torlon PAI rod gave us a good starting point. From there, our Development Team engineered the tooling, production and control equipment and adapted the extrusion and curing conditions to produce consistently high-quality Seamless Tube to the customer’s specifications.”
Drake’s Seamless Tube serves numerous severe service applications where various Torlon PAI or Ultem PEI grades are specified for their resistance to extreme loads at cryogenic and high temperatures, and to many chemicals. Previously, the company’s largest OD/ID size measured 193.7mm x 95.3mm. The ability to extrude Torlon PAI tube measuring 450mm x 150mm opens a wider range of OD/ID combinations that can translate to cost-efficiency and performance benefits for many new applications.
Drake Plastics initiated operations in 1996 with the extrusion of machinable stock shapes made from glass reinforced Torlon® 5030 PAI to support the Javelin Missile Program. The Cypress, Texas, company has since expanded its portfolio with machinable shapes, injection molded parts and precision machined components made from Torlon® PAI, PEEK, PAEK, Ryton® PPS, and other ultra-high-performance polymers. Its developments include a unique range of sizes and configurations that have opened many new applications to these materials for customers worldwide. Drake is an ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certified manufacturer and focuses on lean operating principles throughout its organization. Visit www.drakeplastics.com to learn more.
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