Creep-Resistant Plastics: Understanding Creep Rupture

Torlon plastic

Applications that require tight tolerances and resistance to mechanical stress call for creep-resistant plastics that maintain their shape and integrity under load for long periods of time. As experts in tight tolerances, Reading Plastic is well acquainted with creep-resistant plastics and can machine parts that will hold up under stress.

What is Creep?

Creep is the tendency of a solid material to deform permanently under the influence of constant stress, even if the stress is below the yield strength of the material. It can occur as a result of long-term exposure to mechanical stress – including tensile, compressive, shear, or flexural loading – and is more severe in materials that are subjected to heat for long periods. Permanent deformation is known as creep rupture: the failure of a material due to continuous stress.

4 Top Creep-Resistant Plastics

  1. Vespel® – Vespel® is a highly durable polyimide typically used in demanding applications that require excellent strength and impact resistance, low wear and/or low friction rates, and thermal resistance. It has outstanding creep resistance and doesn’t lose its mechanical properties in extremely high temperatures (up to 500ºF). Vespel® is commonly used in valve seats and sealing applications, high performance bearings and bushings, semiconductor and material handling machinery, and aerospace components.
  2. ECTFE (Halar®) – With outstanding mechanical properties and dimensional stability, ECTFE has greater strength, abrasion resistance, stiffness, and creep resistance than softer fluoropolymers such as PTFE (Teflon®). ECTFE’s exceptionally smooth surfaces and excellent fire resistance make it ideal for high purity applications in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. ECTFE can be found in centrifuges, fluid processing components, and chemical storage tanks and ductwork.
  3. PAI (Torlon®) – This extremely strong, stiff, dimensionally stable plastic is often used in high-temperature environments, as it maintains its mechanical properties at continuous temperatures up to 500ºF. PAI (polyamide-imide) has extremely low thermal expansion and superior creep resistance, making it an excellent choice for tight-tolerance applications. It is widely used for bearings and bushings, aerospace components, seals, pump and valve parts, and semiconductor machinery parts.
  4. PEEK – This powerhouse polymer is a high-performance engineering plastic that combines excellent mechanical strength and dimensional stability with outstanding resistance to harsh chemicals and superior creep resistance. It can withstand continuous use up to 338ºF and has a proven track record in numerous challenging environments, including semiconductor machinery components, aerospace parts, pump and valve components, and oil and gas components.

Reading Plastics Excels at Tight-Tolerance Plastic Parts

For parts that will hold tight tolerances for long periods of time, call the experts at Reading Plastic: 610-926-3245. Our knowledge of creep-resistant plastics and state-of-the-art machinery help us to produce the high-quality, dependable parts our clients need.

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