Victrex, a manufacturer of high-performance polymers says that its PEEK has been shown to offer “a reliable and efficient replacement for metal gears, leading to overall reduced fuel consumption and improved responsiveness.” The group states that the demand for PEEK and similar plastics in the auto sector continues to rise.
Victrex PEEK 450G and its newly-introduced variants reportedly offer: an enhanced lifetime for parts in lubricated applications; no swelling or loss of strength due to moisture absorption; less noise and vibration; low friction and wear; enhanced corrosion resistance; and a reduced need for lubrication, including the most demanding requirements within the engine or actuators.
In the automotive arena, Victrex has teamed up with customers, including US company Melling Engine Parts, which used Victrex WG polymer for a small bushing in a water pump. Since this polymer can withstand high loads at elevated temperatures, while reducing frictional losses, energy consumption and component wear and tear, pump lifetime was extended and warranty requirements met.
Likewise, Victrex WG101 grade polymer is being used to minimise frictional losses within similarly extreme environments and it provides outstanding compressive creep resistance. In addition, this grade, and Victrex PEEK polymers generally, can withstand the aggressive automotive fluids and the high temperatures of today's transmissions, with no detectable thermal degradation at 250°C for more than 5,000 hours.
The result, according to customers, is optimised efficiency, reliability and durability, and increased product lifetime.