Greene, Tweed announced the launch of Arlon 3000 XT, a new engineering polymer developed in partnership with Evonik Industries. Arlon 3000 XT improves high- temperature performance over current PAEK materials. HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) conditions are increasingly common in oil and gas operations as the industry pursues deeper reserves. Arlon 3000 XT addresses this challenge, providing increased mechanical property retention above 350°F (177°C) and 15,000 psi and featuring chemical resistance comparable to PEEK.
Built on Evonik’s VESTAKEEP PEEK polymer platform, Arlon 3000 XT enhances creep and extrusion resistance over existing thermoplastics. In Dynamic Mechanical Analysis, it had a glass transition temperature 35°F (20°C) higher than PEEK polymers and exhibited superior mechanical property retention from 350°F (177°C) to 600°F (316°C). In extrusion testing at 35,000 psi and 550°F (288°C), it outperformed all of the tested PAEK polymers, including virgin and 30% carbon-filled grades of PEEK and PEKEKK. And during comprehensive chemical resistance tests, it demonstrated compatibility with all common oilfield fluids. The result for industry operators will be greater reliability of thermoplastic components in high temperatures, and an expansion of their capabilities in HPHT environments.
Greene, Tweed expects to utilize Arlon 3000 XT in limited sample production of seal ring components and electrical connectors by the end of the year. They project that the standard electrical connectors will have a pressure rating up to 50% higher at 350°F (177°C) than current best-in-class materials such as PEK. Additional applications will be explored as production commences, and the company is working with several of its customers to identify all opportunities.
“Conventional thermoplastics can have issues in very demanding, high-temperature applications due to excessive creep,” said Senior Scientist Kerry Drake, Ph.D. “Arlon 3000 XT was engineered specifically to address this issue. It really is the next step above PEEK and other polyketone polymers in terms of material performance.”
“In the past, components had to be designed around the limitations of PEEK,” said Burak Bekisli, Ph.D., a scientist on the Advanced Technology team. “With Arlon 3000 XT, that won’t be as necessary; engineers will have much greater design freedom.” As a result, Greene, Tweed could expand the material to applications which were previously out of reach for polymers.
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