Component Management

Cryogenic PEEK polymer meets Shell MESC specifications

24th April 2020
Alex Lynn

Advanced Engineering Valves (AEV) has selected a Victrex high-performance cryogenic PEEK polymer to help its customers operate applications more efficiently and safely. 

The company´s 2XC C-ball valve products, based upon double eccentric and cavity-free technology, are designed to meet the most stringent demands, potentially reducing the cost of ownership due to their high reliability (zero maintenance) in cryogenic service.

The cryogenic VICTREX CT 100 polymer was specifically developed by Victrex for insert applications. After successfully passing Design Validation Testing (DVT) at AEV, the polymer is now used in the company´s class 900 ball valves ranging from ½ through to 18 inches. It is specified for a temperature range of -196 to +150°C and offers structural strength at elevated temperature without compromising low temperature performance of cryogenic PEEK compared to incumbent materials.

The DVT at AEV was carried out according to Shell´s ‘Material and Equipment Standards and Code’ (MESC), which is widely accepted in the Oil and Gas industry as a key test protocol and a prerequisite for industry acceptance.

“Our valves successfully passed all aspects of the cryogenic test using the VICTREX CT 100 polymer. Meeting the requirements of the Shell MESC test is in fact an important achievement that opens up new potential uses with industry-leading OEMs," said Francis Carpio, Operational Director at Emerson A.E. Valves. Commonly, Victrex´s thermoplastic polymers are associated with high temperature performance, high chemical resistance and a unique range of mechanical properties.

James Simmonite, Director Energy at Victrex, added: “Many sealing applications in cryogenic temperature ranges have typically been made with fluoropolymers. However, our polymer products such as the VICTREX CT series provide a unique range of properties over a broader temperature range from +200°C to -196°C which fluoropolymers cannot meet.” 

In this temperature range, chemical resistance is still important, but other aspects such as creep resistance, low temperature toughness and tribological performance, and thermal properties such as conductivity and expansion, are the most important to applications such as valve seats and packings.

Victrex understands the need for reliability and efficiency in harsh conditions. The VICTREX CT polymer series, for example, exhibits improved sealing over a wider range of temperatures, compared to used materials such as PCTFE. It does so at low temperatures on account of its greater ductility, and at high temperatures due to its superior creep resistance. 

VICTREX CT polymers have also been shown to maintain better dimensional stability, with a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than incumbent materials. The higher thermal conductivity of the PEEK material enables a fast response to temperature changes, ensuring the material stays engaged with the counter-surface at all times.

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