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PEEK Seals the Deal for Car AC System.

Victrex PEEK polymer is being used for the tip seals of scroll compressors for automotive air conditioning systems manufactured by Visteon Automotive Systems, of Dearborn, Mich. In this role, PEEK polymer is said to give the Visteon seals the durability, stiffness, and wear resistance necessary to prevent refrigerant leakage between chambers of differing pressures.

The use of a scroll compressor offers several advantages over the use of a piston, according to Victrex; these include good NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) resistance, greater durability, and higher efficiency. As described by Victrex, the scroll compressor's key components are the scrolls--with one fixed and the other one orbiting. Instead of using a piston to compress the refrigerant, scroll compressors use involutes of a circle to generate scroll walls that more slowly compress the gas through the entire cycle. The refrigerant is trapped in pockets on the exterior portion of the scroll. As it moves, the orbiting scroll slowly compresses the trapped pockets into smaller and smaller pockets into the center of the scroll, where it reaches its discharge pressure and is pushed out into the next phase of the refrigerant cycle.

Located on the tips of the fixed and orbiting scrolls, the PEEK polymer tip seals serve almost the same function as do piston rings, Victrex says. The tip seal is pushed up by high-pressure refrigerant, improving the wall's axial seal capability. In a variable scroll compressor, the tip seal must run over two holes to ensure a certain amount of stiffness and wear resistance within the tip seal itself; otherwise, it would be eaten away and would eventually wear out. According to Victrex, the wear resistance, stiffness, and durability of PEEK polymer eliminates the element of risk from this type of seal.
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Title Annotation:air conditioning
Comment:PEEK Seals the Deal for Car AC System.(air conditioning)
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2000
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