Drake Plastics Develops Industry's Largest Extruded Torlon PAI Tube

13 September 2023

Drake Plastics Ltd. has achieved a remarkable milestone by producing a rigid tube extruded from Torlon® PAI with an unprecedented outer diameter (OD) of 450mm (17.7 inches) and an inner diameter (ID) of 150mm (5.9 inches). This breakthrough in size and wall thickness signifies a significant advancement in the field of melt processing ultra high-performance polymers. This substantial tube plays a crucial role in manufacturing large components for an alternative energy application, where Torlon PAI has emerged as the sole material capable of withstanding the extreme temperature range involved.

As a prominent global supplier of advanced polymer semifinished shapes designed for machining, Drake Plastics developed this new size in Torlon PAI through its innovative Seamless Tube® extrusion technology. This proprietary melt process yields rigid tubes that are free from the weld lines that can be susceptible to failure under high loads or pressures.

Tyler Quance, Vice-President of Technology at Drake, explained, "The challenge of extruding Torlon PAI in this size without degradation, voids, or porosity was considerable due to the polymer's high melt temperature and the substantial amount of material involved. Our prior experience in extruding 254mm Torlon PAI rods provided a valuable starting point. Subsequently, our Development Team engineered the tooling, production, and control equipment and adapted the extrusion and curing conditions to consistently produce high-quality Seamless Tube according to the customer's specifications."

Drake's Seamless Tube finds application in numerous severe service scenarios where various Torlon PAI or Ultem PEI grades are chosen for their exceptional resistance to extreme loads at both cryogenic and high temperatures, as well as resistance to a wide range of chemicals. Previously, the company's largest OD/ID size measured 193.7mm x 95.3mm. The capability to extrude Torlon PAI tubes measuring 450mm x 150mm expands the range of OD/ID combinations, offering potential cost-efficiency and performance benefits for various new applications.


Source: prnewswire.com