Thornton Cleveleys, UK – Victrex Polymer Solutions, a division of Victrex plc, announces the addition of a new thermoplastic compound to its range of VICTREX® WG™ premium wear grade polymers. The PAEK-based compound, called VICTREX WG102, was developed in response to requests from engineers and OEMs for improved reliability, reduced failure rates, and increased energy efficiency to meet the requirements of more demanding wear applications in the automotive and processing equipment industries.
According to Phil Pritchard, Product Manager at Victrex Polymer Solutions, “Our aim in developing VICTREX WG premium wear grades was to allow customers to produce lower cost, lighter weight parts with increased service life compared to parts made from metals, polyimide (PI) and polyamide-imide (PAI). VICTREX WG polymers have improved wear resistance and reduced coefficient of friction when compared to PI and PAI. The new VICTREX WG102 polymer is designed for higher temperature tribological applications for high strength and stiffness. It offers 25-75 percent lower wear rates and a reduced, and very stable, coefficient of friction to meet customer requirements for wear at higher speed and load application performance in challenging thermal and chemical environments.”
VICTREX WG102 offers excellent high temperature performance, and good dimensional and thermal stability up to and beyond 300°C (572°F). It is chemically resistant to aggressive environments, including service fluids, and contains no polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). “In terms of wear resistance,” said Pritchard, “with a 50 percent lower coefficient of friction, VICTREX WG polymers produce less drag and frictional heating, so parts run cooler and last longer over a wider range of pressure and velocity conditions than PI and PAI wear grades. Extensive tribological testing over a variety of wear geometries, supported by feedback from customers demonstrates that they can provide higher reliability, longer life and reduced risk of failures for components operating in extreme environments and this increases the operating range of machines at higher speeds and pressures.”
Another area where VICTREX WG polymers outperform PI and PAI is compressive load, which can lead to polymer creep resulting in dimensional changes. “Because VICTREX WG polymers have higher retention of mechanical properties at elevated temperatures and consistent performance over a wide temperature range,” explained Pritchard, “engineers can design a component in VICTREX WG102 for significantly higher loads compared to the same component in other polymers.”
VICTREX WG polymers extend the fit of VICTREX® PEEK polymer to new application areas ranging from full plastic wear bushings to composite bushings and vane tips in vacuum pumps. “One advantage of VICTREX WG polymer-based thrust washers, wear bushings and seals,” added Pritchard, “is the polymer’s excellent melt flow that allows thin-walled intricate component design and the ability to consolidate complex parts, to reduce part costs. Smaller components result in more efficient heat transfer through the plastic component into the metal counterface or to the lubricant.”
Combining improved performance with a low density, especially compared with metals, and being fully recyclable VICTREX WG grades are also melt processable with standard injection molding equipment and require no post processing and machining, meeting the need for economical processing and lighter weight components. “While VICTREX PEEK 450FC30 will remain the standard product for the majority of wear application developments,” said Pritchard, “VICTREX WG polymers provide a solution for more demanding wear applications in a wide range of service environments. With the ability to be processed with the same processing technologies and temperatures as other Victrex polymers this can help shorten manufacturing times, improve efficiency of production and reduce overall manufacturing costs when compared with metals, PI and PAI grades.”