Valve Plates Made with Carbon Fiber Reinforced PEEK Reduce Compressor Down Time


WINONA, MINN., USA - (November 10, 2008) - To create a tough compressor valve plate with high thermal and dimensional stability, Hoerbiger Corporation, the world's largest independent compressor valve manufacturer, worked with custom compounder RTP Company and chose an RTP 2200 Series low flow, carbon fiber reinforced PEEK compound for their valve sealing elements, or valve plates.

According to Tim Bremner, Vice President of Materials Technology at Hoerbiger, "Valve plate materials must provide a high degree of physical strength while maintaining high impact and cyclic fatigue resistance. In many instances, compressor plates compress highly acidic or caustic gas streams, posing serious challenges for the chemical compatibility of the valve plate material."

"The main benefit of RTP Company's PEEK compound is the high flexural modulus achieved through careful incorporation of carbon fiber into the resin matrix during compounding," explained Bremner. "This material greatly improves the lifespan of sealing elements in the valve. There is a dramatic increase in overall reliability and high temperature performance when compared to other commonly used valve plate materials."

"Longer life contributes to less frequent unplanned shut-down events," said Bremner. "In high demand environments, compressor reliability is critical. It's not uncommon for the failure of a commercial compressor to incur downtime losses in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour."

Hoerbiger chose RTP Company as a supplier because of its strong sourcing position, strong technical capabilities, and experience with compounding engineering polymers. "RTP Company is the right size and the right fit to help us. They have a great collaborative/cooperative environment for problem solving and material design," according to Bremner.

Several RTP Company materials are used by Hoerbiger based on the technical and strategic needs of different markets and applications.

"While we are certainly a growing company, RTP Company provides the desired personal feel and attention to our needs -- meeting our requirements for a preferred provider," said Bremner. "They have excellent customer service and a corporate strategy that allows for developmental partnerships and strong support for their customers."

For more information on RTP Company specialty compounds, call (800) 433-4787 or (507) 454-6900, or visit their website at www.rtpcompany.com.

About RTP Company
RTP Company, headquartered in Winona, Minnesota, is a global leader in specialty thermoplastic compounding. The company has eight manufacturing plants on three continents, plus sales representatives throughout North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. RTP Company's engineers develop custom compounds in over 60 different engineering resin systems for applications requiring color, conductive, elastomeric, flame retardant, high temperature, shielding, structural, and wear resistant properties.

Contact: Kris Jommersbach
Gemini Communications
PH: 610-935-1633
Email: krisj@geminiinc.com

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