Hoerbiger Uses Solvay’s KetaSpire® PEEK for High-Performance Compressor Plates
ALPHARETTA, Ga., December 4, 2013 – Austria-based Hoerbiger, a leading global supplier of compressor components and services, produces reciprocating compressor valve plates (also known as valve sealing elements) and wear-resistant rings and packings utilizing KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers.
These high-performance components are designed for high service temperatures (up to 246°C/475°F) and meet chemical and fatigue resistance requirements in reciprocating compressors for a range of industries including oil and gas, petrochemical, refining, and other industries.
Hoerbiger uses glass fiber or carbon fiber reinforced KetaSpire® PEEK to injection mold compression valve plates while unfilled KetaSpire® PEEK is used in Hoerbiger proprietary formulations to compression mold wear-resistant rings and packings.
Hoerbiger has chosen Solvay as an important supplier of PEEK resins that provide high quality and performance, and through this relationship gains better access to other materials of interest and technical expertise based on Solvay’s broad range of high-performance polymers, according to Dr. Tim Bremner, Vice President of Materials Technology for Hoerbiger Corporation of America Inc.
“The opportunity to engage with Solvay in future cooperative materials research and development was another major reason for teaming up,” explained Bremner, who also serves as Co-Director of the industry-led APPEAL Research Consortium at Texas A&M University. This member-funded organization focuses on fundamental research and development of high-performance polymers as potential new material options for the oil and gas industry.
KetaSpire® PEEK is among thermoplastic-based materials used for valve sealing elements alongside base materials including nylon and polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and is selected when service temperatures exceed the inherent thermal capabilities of these lower melting polymers. The material also withstands aggressive fluids and corrosive substances without suffering deformation or loss of performance. KetaSpire® PEEK handles high-pressure environments that are encountered in today’s modern reciprocating compressors.
Hoerbiger Corporation of America also produces injection molded stock shapes (rod and tube) and custom molded and machined components made from KetaSpire® PEEK for certain oil and gas applications.
KetaSpire® PEEK is one of the industry’s most chemically resistant plastics and offers a superior combination of strength and toughness, along with superior fatigue resistance and a continuous-use temperature of up to 240°C (464°F). It also exhibits high purity and consistent high quality in processing and part performance. Glass fiber reinforced and carbon fiber reinforced grades provide a wide range of performance options for demanding applications.