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News

Maintenance cycles for softener chemical manufacturing reactors extended

Quadrant EPP : 27 January, 2003  (New Product)
Industria Proeza, Mexico, a major manufacturer of intermediates used by textile manufacturers, has significantly improved its manufacturing efficiency by replacing PTFE bushings on its 3,500-liter chemical reactors with bushings made of Ketron PEEK. Compared to PTFE bushings, which were wearing out in less than two months of operation, bushings made of Ketron PEEK (polyetheretherketone) are lasting over four times longer.
Industria Proeza, Mexico, a major manufacturer of intermediates used by textile manufacturers, has significantly improved its manufacturing efficiency by replacing PTFE bushings on its 3,500-liter chemical reactors with bushings made of Ketron PEEK. Compared to PTFE bushings, which were wearing out in less than two months of operation, bushings made of Ketron PEEK (polyetheretherketone) are lasting over four times longer.

IP's steel-jacketed, glass-lined reactors have three-impellers. The impeller shaft bush-ing is at the bottom of the reactor and the shaft rotates at 90 rpm. The Ketron PEEK shaft bushing, which has an OD of 4 in., an ID of 2 in. and is 3-in. thick, is a press fit into a steel shaft collar. Chemicals used in the IP reactors, which produce fabric softeners, include caustic soda, acetic acid, methyl alcohol, oleic acid, stearic acid, and MEK solvent. Ketron PEEK is a high-performance engineering plastic, produced by Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products, Reading, PA USA.

Bushings made of Ketron PEEK are non-galling and non-seizing in contact with metal, and can withstand the 180° C operating temperature of the IP reactors. Quadrant's JV partner in Mexico, Nylamid, Plásticos de Mantenimiento, S.A. de C.V. was able to work closely with the end customer to help specify Quadrant's Ketron PEEK material.

Because Ketron PEEK expands less than stainless steel at high temperatures, the bushings can be machined to close clearances. Ketron PEEK is a low-friction and wear-resistant material, permitting closer running tolerances and eliminating corrosion, galling and wear problems. Its self-lubricating properties, combined with excellent chemical resistance, make it ideal for replacing PTFE-wear components in chemical processing equipment.

Because Ketron PEEK is a tough material, much harder than PTFE, it can extend the wear life of components. A shaft running on a bushing causes high pressure, which can actually wear away the bushing. The load bearing capability of PEEK allows the bushing to have far greater wear resistance. This is especially important in the textile chemical industry, where reducing maintenance downtime is critical.
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