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New levels of performance reached by Quadrant Extreme MaterialsT

Quadrant EPP : 24 January, 2003  (New Product)
To provide product and design engineers with machining grade polymer materials having optimum levels of performance, Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products recently announced their Extreme Materials line of engineering plastic shapes.
'A standard grade of an engineering plastic may be sufficient for some applications,' says Earl Wester, Commercial Director at QEPP, 'but there are many application environments that require much more from machined plastic parts. And in the past, engineers had few choices in readily available plastics for machining other than ultra-high performance materials like polyimides. However, this also meant over-engineering, and its corresponding high price tag. With our Extreme Materials product technology, we have developed product compositions that enhance the performance of standard materials beyond their typical capabilities. Thus, for example, we are now able to offer not just standard PPS, but a new grade that performs well in bearing applications not previously possible.'

The first products announced as part of the Quadrant Extreme Materials program are two bearing-grade polymer stock shapes:

Techtron HPV: To the basic capabilities of polyphenylene-sulfide (PPS) - high heat resistance, broad range of chemical resistance and excellent dimensional stability -- excellent wear resistance and a low coefficient of friction have been added.

Ketron HPV: To the basic capabilities of polyetheretherketone, very high heat resistance, high strength and stiffness, and good chemical resistance, an excellent combination of low friction, low wear, high LPV, low mating part wear have been added.

As shown in the table, Quadrant's new grades of Techtron and Ketron retain the inherent mechanical properties of the base polymer and provide much greater wear resistance.

Comparison of Base Polymers to New Extreme Material Grades

Property PPS Techtron HPV PEEK Ketron HPV
Tensile Strength Kpsi 13,500 10,900 16,000 11,000
Tensile Modulus Kpsi 500,000 540,000 500,000 850,000
Flexural Strength Kpsi 21,000 10,500 25,000 27,500
Flexural Modulus Kpsi 575,000 535,000 600,000 1,100,000
Limiting PV (4x Factor) (Ft lbs.ft./ 8,750 8,750 8,500 20,000
K Factor (lower is better) (Cu in.-min./ 2,4000 85 375 100

'The new HPV grade of Techtron,' says Dr. Richard Campbell, Quadrant's R&D director who heads up the product technology behind Extreme Materials, 'offers a unique combination of performance capabilities for bearing applications in chemically aggressive environments. PPS has no known solvents below 200C and is inert to steam, strong bases, fuels and acids. Now, there is a PPS that also has excellent wear resistance. Unlike standard PPS, Techtron HPV has a low coefficient of friction and, thus, greater resistance to wear in dynamic applications.'

With respect to the new Ketron HPV, Campbell says, 'traditionally, PEEK has been recognized for its high strength and stiffness and a continuous use temperature of 480 F. It offers chemical and hydrolysis resistance similar to PPS, but can operate at higher temperatures. To these capabilities, Ketron HPV adds outstanding bearing performance. This new performance improvement makes it a cost effective alternative to some fluoropolymers and polyimides for bearing applications in aggressive chemical environments.'

Quadrant's development team is currently working on extending the performance capabilities of other polymers, including polyamide-imide, fluoropolymer, and polyethylene-terephthalate. 'The material and processing technologies that allowed us to develop Techtron HPV and Ketron HPV,' says Campbell, 'have also been applied to many other materials manufactured by Quadrant. New grades of these materials will allow us to offer extreme levels of performance, improve productivity and bring clear benefits to a new group of designers.'

QEPP offers its Extreme Materials, as well as its standard lines of plastic stock shapes, through its worldwide operations, technical support centers and authorized distributors.
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