SABIC Innovative Plastics' Resins Optimize Water Valves with Design Freedom, High Performance and Long Life
Feb 02, 2009
BERGEN OP ZOOM, The Netherlands – Because of their exposure to static or fluctuating pressure, high temperatures and various chemicals, water valves have traditionally been made from metals such as brass. However, today's engineering thermoplastics can replace metal, delivering not only high performance but also the benefit of enhanced design freedom. SABIC Innovative Plastics' portfolio of advanced specialty materials, combined with the scientific expertise of its Fluid Engineering Center of Excellence in Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, offers customers new choices for water valves that can ensure a high level of efficiency, durability and performance.
- Static Strength: High initial static strength of a material may be required to withstand abusive assembly by an installer who is used to metal components. If this abusive assembly occurs at the beginning of the life of a component, traditional engineering design is often used. However, the component stresses that result from assembly may not be present during the whole lifetime of the part. If the design allows for it, these stresses may relax, especially at elevated temperatures. If abusive forces are too high, the design flexibility of plastics often permits a stronger design. SABIC Innovative Plastics offers a wide product portfolio based on a large number of resins and reinforcement systems, and able to withstand many different operating environments.
- Long-term Creep Displacement and Strength: Typically, valves are loaded with a constant internal pressure, which translates to constant stress in the part. As a result, thermoplastic materials will slowly deform (creep). Amorphous resins such as Noryl* and Ultem* resins typically creep less and retain dimensions and valve sealing longer than semi-crystalline resins. However, if stresses are too high the deformation may grow to a critical level and ultimately cause failure of the part, a phenomenon called creep rupture. There are many glass-fiberreinforced resins that can be used to improve the creep performance of a material, for instance Ultem 2300, Noryl GTX and Noryl GFN1630V resin grades.
- Fatigue: Fluctuating pressures cause a very different material behavior. Fatigue may result from pressure fluctuations in the system, a sudden closure of the valve (water hammer), or the difference in thermal expansion caused by temperature changes on dissimilar materials connected together. Fatigue causes damage to the material, which may accumulate until failure occurs. Fatigue performance depends on design features such as type of stress and material thickness. For example, thinner walls usually result in a longer life under the same fatigue stress. SABIC Innovative Plastics' Noryl GFN1430V resin can improve thin-wall performance in these types of applications.
- Water and Chemical Resistance: Plastics are often considered for valves used in environments that present a high risk of corrosion or chemical exposure. However, the length of exposure ultimately determines whether the component will have sufficient resistance. Higher temperatures and continuous stress accelerate the effect of a chemical on material strength.
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