Demand for cryogenic capable polymers is at an all-time high, from the oil and gas industry, medical devices and cryogenic valve seals for space flight. For years, the frontline material choice for these industry applications was PCTFE, often referred to by its former trade name Kel-F.
Victrex CT™ 200 is comparable to PCTFE as a high performance alternative, designed for a variety of industries. Victrex CT™ 200 is the most promising among the alternatives and has only been commercially available since 2018.
New to the market, Victrex CT™ 200 may not be on the radar for many oil and gas, medical, aerospace or cryogenic companies. It should be, though, especially with supply issues impacting the availability of PCTFE. Victrex CT™ 200 can offer improved performance and is a far more available option. The time is ideal to make the transition from PCTFE to Victrex.
Victrex CT™ 200 Is A High Performance Polymer With Impressive Material Properties
Victrex CT™ 200 is a member of the PAEK (polyaryletherketone) family of polymers, which has already found extensive use in oil and gas. Backed by 40 years of PEEK engineering experience, CT™ 200 was developed to compete with PCTFE and has a few advantages over the fluoropolymer. Those advantages include:
Greater Tensile Strength
CT™ 200 offers improved tensile strength and withstands constant pulling and stretching better than PCTFE. It also has a lower modulus than PCTFE, which means it possesses superior ductility at a greater range of temperatures.
Better Creep Resistance
Victrex CT™ 200 possesses impressive creep resistance, so it maintains its shape even when subjected to both pressure and heat. In dynamic sealing applications, this creep resistance ensures CT™ 200 maintains a strong seal when heat is present, making CT™ 200 a drastic improvement when compared to PCTFE.
A Lower, Constant Coefficient Of Thermal Expansion
CT™ 200 expands and shrinks slowly in the presence of changing temperatures and does so at a steady rate compared to PCTFE. This means better overall dimensional stability and more reliable performance.
Higher Thermal Conductivity
CT™ 200 conducts heat faster than PCTFE while maintaining its dimensional stability. This allows Victrex’s polymer to react quickly and uniformly to changes in temperature, so it can maintain interference with any counter-surface for better sealing.
Reduced Coefficient Of Friction
Laboratory tests also suggest a lower static and dynamic coefficient of friction in CT™ 200 compared to PCTFE. With a lower coefficient of friction, it takes less torque to actuate CT™ 200, which means less wear and improved performance, making this material perfect for cryogenic ball seat valves or any valves used at -196C.
Victrex CT™ 200 Maintains Its Excellent Material Properties At Nearly Any Temperature
Perhaps most importantly, Victrex CT™ 200 preserves its material characteristics in the presence of heat or cold. It has been tested at temperatures ranging from -196 to 150 degrees Celsius, and Victrex CT™ 200 could provide performance at higher temperatures, up to 200 degrees Celsius.
Victrex CT™ 200 Is A Tailor-Made Solution For Cryogenic Environments
Though CT™ 200 performs well in the presence of heat, it’s the polymer’s ability to withstand cryogenic temperatures that make it a frontline choice for countless cryogenic applications, including LNG applications.
Liquefied natural gas is a mixture of gases, primarily methane, with a boiling point as low as -166 degrees Celsius. Liquifying the gas increases its energy density by 600 times, which makes transporting the gas to areas of low supply a viable option. Maintaining cryogenic temperatures safely is the challenge.
CT™ 200 is a direct answer to this challenge, as it performs at cryogenic temperatures where most other materials would fail due to brittleness. In oil and gas applications, CT™ 200 can provide a better seal than PCTFE and do so under extreme conditions, including settings where constant mechanical forces are present.
CT 200 Also Displays Promising Processibility
In addition to its strength and stability, CT™ 200 comes with impressive processibility. This was confirmed during TAT testing, using the Shell Mesc 77/300 standard. CT™ 200 passed the TAT test and verified that it could be used in valve and seating applications.
TAT testing also revealed that the polymer is a candidate for injection molding, compression molding and extrusion processing. With these processibility advantages, CT™ 200 can be rapidly converted into a large number of sealing components. This keeps the cost of each component low and ensures larger production runs are kept on schedule.
With Ongoing Supply Chain Issues, Victrex CT™ 200’s Availability Is Valuable
There’s a reason why PCTFE has been trusted in LNG applications for as long as it has, but there are also reasons to consider a switch to CT™ 200, aside from its superior material properties. If that’s not enough, there’s also supply challenges to consider.
In a post-pandemic world, material shortages are occurring across many industries, and the oil and gas industry is no exception. PCTFE is typically in high demand among O&G processors and operators, and material shortages are making it difficult to affordably acquire it.
That’s not the case with Victrex CT™ 200 as its superior alternative is still off the radar for many oil and gas companies. However, not only is Victrex a better option for cryogenic sealing applications, it is a far easier material to source. That means lower costs and expedited production.
Drake Plastics Is Experienced In Extruding Victrex CT™ 200
Victrex CT™ 200 is the better, more available solution, but do you have a converter who is experienced in handling the material? That’s an important consideration because every polymer processes a little differently. CT™ 200, for example, is now extruded and injection molded domestically by Drake Plastics.
Drake Plastics has experience sourcing and converting an array of high-performance polymers, including many PAEK-derived polymers. Much of that experience involves work in the oil and gas industry, aerospace, medical and other cryogenic environments. Components like those found in LNG facilities and transports.
With over 25 years of experience extruding high-performance polymers, Drake Plastics is proud to bring Victrex CT™ 200 to the market as an immediate solution to solve the nation’s need for domestically sourced cryogenic polymers.