Show Desktop Version

What Are the Advantages of Mica-Filled PTFE vs. Aluminum in Turbocompressor Seals?

Turbocompressor seals are a high-heat, high-wear application that demands an optimized PTFE solution. For that reason, filler materials are added to enhance PTFE’s mechanical properties. The addition of PTFE fillers such as synthetic Mica enables manufacturers like Symmtek to engineer specific physical, mechanical and thermal properties within the resulting fluorocomposite. As an example, we can engineer an optimized mica-filled PTFE material which exhibits enhanced durability , abradability (ease to abrade), coefficient of expansion similar to Aluminum, and heat resistance combined with low friction – ideal for turbocompressor abradable seals.

An Overview of PTFE: Mechanical Properties and Benefits

PTFE stands for polytetrafluoroethylene, the most common example being Dupont’s trademarked Teflon. This specialized engineering polymer is fluorocarbon-based, engineered to exhibit high levels of chemical resistance and high-temperature stability. Additional mechanical benefits of PTFE material include high elasticity, and its outstanding electrical and thermal insulation properties. PTFE is the most chemically resistant polymer available, only attacked by molten salts, and very aggressive chemicals not commonly used in turbo-equipment.

Mica as a Polymer Filler

The addition of synthetic mica in fluoropolymers improves its material properties significantly, such as, higher abrasion resistance , lower thermal expansion, reduced isotropic shrinkage and enhanced wear resistance, all extremely important for chemical processing equipment applications such as abradable turbocompressor seals, and metering device seals. In fact, mica is an unique mineral which offers the multiple advantage of high-aspect-ratio, high thermal stability and multi-dimensional lateral reinforcement to composite plastic systems. Besides, mica also offers plastic compounders as a potential substitute for more expensive ceramic fiber reinforcements. No other products provide such functional enhancement to a wide range of plastic polymers as superior quality and excellent dimensional stability than mica.

The Advantages of Mica-Filled PTFE vs. Aluminum

PTFE is filled with a high percentage of mica to modify its physical properties. The addition of mica provides an ideal level of durability and dimensional stability for turbocompressor seal applications. Furthermore, mica-filled PTFE offers outstanding wear resistance and abradability which is paramount to achieving reliable sealing over extended periods of time in the extreme environments of turbocompressor systems. These properties allow design engineers to exchange rub tolerant seal designs with high clearances, for abradable seal designs with very tight clearances, effectively reducing leakage, and increasing efficiency in turbo-equipment.

Mica-Filled PTFE for Turbocompressor Seals:

  • Outstanding compressive strength in a fluoropolymer, impervious to most hydrocarbons.
  • Abradability superior to soft metals or alloys such as Aluminum, Nickel Graphite, and or Babbit.
  • Low thermal expansion coefficient suitable for high-heat turbocompressor systems.
  • High resistance to wear and tear for reliable sealing with an extended service life.
  • Better chemical resistance, and lower impact by corrosive gasses such as Chlorine.

An Optimized Polymer Solution for Your Turbocompressor Application

Symmtek is one of the industry’s leading providers of high-performance PTFE solutions for turbocompressor seals and other demanding chemical processing & industrial equipment. Based in Calera, OK, we specialize in the development of innovative polymer solutions, including custom engineered advanced polymers developed for your unique application.