Both Torlon and PEEK are extremely robust polymers that are able to serve in some of the harshest environments. With superior heat, corrosion and pressure resistance, Torlon and PEEK are a primary option for the aerospace, medical, oil & gas and electronics industries. What these industries have in common is that they require a staggering variety of components, of all shapes and sizes, and these components have to stand up to punishing mechanical and thermal forces. Few materials meet this standard, and fewer still can be processed efficiently to make them an option for both large and small scale projects. Torlon and PEEK, however, meet these demands with their availability as extruded stock shapes for machining and injection moldabilty for higher volume cost-sensitive parts.
The Perfect Polymer Pair
PEEK and Torlon are among the most durable thermoplastics available, and outperform most other resins at high temperatures. For example, Torlon withstands distortion all the way up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it stands alone in terms of high-temperature stability. PEEK offers inertness in the most aggressive chemical environments including those at both pH extremes, highly oxidative and environments containing superheated steam.
With these versatile properties, Torlon and PEEK offer strength, toughness, wear resistance and insulation properties for near limitless applications in technology driven industries including:
- Aerospace – Torlon meets the incredible demands of the aerospace industry, including a major focus on weight reduction and minimal electromagnetic interference. Torlon resists wear better than metal components, which also makes it an attractive option for aerospace applications. Thermal isolators, sector gears, bushings, screws and hoses are all examples of Torlon components that get heavy use in the aerospace industry.
- Medical and Life Science – PEEK provides high resistance to sterilization, inertness and transparency to x-ray machines which is essential to many medical and scientific procedures. Torlon’s high compressive strength and creep resistance make it popular for peristaltic pump rollers and bushings for prosthetics, where they offer superior wear resistance. PEEK is used extensively in electrical motors, particularly those built into small surgical instruments. Implant grade PEEK is found in dental products, and is also used in the spacers built into spinal implants. Both PEEK and Torlon are also used in analytical instruments supporting the life sciences
- Oil & Gas – The oil & gas industry produces some of the most punishing environments on the planet, particularly in downhole applications. Torlon and PEEK can handle the pressure and heat, though, which is why they are popular options in valve seats, connector bodies, seals, flappers, frac balls and compressor valve components. To provide additional pressure resistance, both materials are reinforced with glass and carbon, which prevents instability at extreme pressures.
- Electronics and Semiconductors – Semiconductors and computing chips are produced in environments that most materials cannot withstand. With their excellent strength at extreme temperatures and corrosive resistance, Torlon and PEEK are ideal for the manufacturing of test sockets designed for automated testing, wafer handling tools used for chemical washing, chip nests and ferrules used in plasma etching.
- Automotive and Racing – Torlon’s combination of high strength plus heat and wear resistance have increased the reliability of high-performance engines, transmissions and accessories. Torlon has replaced much softer PTFE based polymers leading to longer life and improved reliability in transmission seal rings. Suspension bushings, rollers and supercharger bushings made from Torlon help drivers gain that performance edge.
- Metal Processing – Metal forming and processing always involves high contact pressures and temperatures, which is a tough combination for most polymers. Torlon 4203 disks provide an unmatched balance of high compressive strength and surface finish, improving the surface quality and productivity of CNC spun aluminum alloy reflectors. Torlon 4203 is also widely used in plasma cutting torch consumables when electrical and thermal insulation is required in proximity to the cutting tip.