Fixing Ties and Elements for High Temperature Applications (PEEK, E/TFE “Tefzel”, PA46)
Some of the world’s most exciting breakthroughs have been by chance. Take the synthesis of polyethylene, for example, the most commonly used plastic today. But the overwhelming majority of advances in plastics engineering result from application of knowledge, injection moulding experience and design competence. Enter Polyetheretherketone, better known as PEEK, considered the first “designer polymer”; polyamide 4.6 and E/TFE (Tefzel®), all of which HellermannTyton uses in its part production on a daily basis.
Thermoplastics with exceptional qualities used by HellermannTyton in its state of the art injection moulding facilities for cable ties and fixing elements include PEEK, polyamide 4.6 (PA46) and E/TFE (Tefzel®). Here we will explore these materials and their applications in a bit more detail:
PEEK Material – High Temperature Plastic
PEEK is considered to be one of the highest-performing thermoplastics on the market. HellermannTyton`s products manufactured from PEEK are suitable for applications where temperatures can reach +240 °C (continuous operating temperature). Though expensive, this resistance to high temperatures makes it the thermoplastic polymer of choice for cable ties and cable management solutions in many aerospace, rail, automotive and shipping applications. But its suitability is not limited to these.
HellermannTyton’s injection moulding expertise with PEEK material has culminated in the unique PT3B cable tie. Measuring 250 mm, this is currently the longest PEEK cable tie on the market. Due to its suitability for high-temperature applications, and its combination of physical strength and light weight, this high-strength plastic cable tie is often used as a viable alternative to metal cable ties, for example in aircraft design, such as the Airbus Eurofighter, or for bundling and fixing cables and pipes near the exhaust tracts of vehicles.
Furthermore, PEEK cable ties (available as inside serrated and outside serrated ties) are known for their good chemical resistance, resistance to water, greater flexibility, and processing ease.
The range of PEEK products offered by HellermannTyton includes identification and labelling solutions as well as screw fixing mounts, and one- and two-piece arrowhead and disc fixing ties. Solutions can also be customised to meet customers’ individual demands. And as part of its continuing development of engineering plastics, HellermannTyton is currently developing even longer cable ties, again based on our depth of experience working with PEEK material.
Polyamide 4.6 (PA46) – For a Continuous Operating Temperature up to +150 °C
While not equalling PEEK in terms of resistance to extremely high temperatures, PA46 is suitable for use up to 150 °C and has other attributes that can make it more suitable than PEEK in some applications. The characteristic rigidity and excellent dimensional stability that PA46 displays at higher temperatures means that it is resistant to creep. This is good news in hot applications where vibration is prevalent, such as truck exhaust units. Another bonus is that the material is resistant to chemicals and has good fire safety properties. HellermannTyton offers a large range of cable ties and fixing elements in PA46, a good selection of which are outlined in the brochure Fixing Ties and Elements for High Temperature Applications (Link to brochure: fixing ties and elements for high temperature applications).
E/TFE (Tefzel®) – High Temperature and Very Aggressive Chemical Environments
The third polymer in our triumvirate of high-strength, thermoset plastics is E/TFE, also known as Tefzel®. Cable management solutions from ethylene tetrafluoroethylene excel especially in applications where aggressive chemicals may be present. Tefzel® combines high chemical resistance with rigidity and excellent mechanical strength. Solutions made from Tefzel® also offer high resistance to abrasion and resistance to operating temperatures up to +170 °C. This thermoplastic meets UL94-VO fi re protection requirements and generates very little smoke density.
The HellermannTyton product of choice in Tefzel® is its T-Series cable tie, with inside serration and an easy-to-insert tail. The DuPont website provides an excellent overview of the chemical resistance of of Tefzel®, which may help you in deciding whether this is the optimum material for your application (Link to: dupont.com/ Chemical Use Temperature Guide)
That concludes our brief overview of HellermannTyton’s expertise in solutions for high-temperature applications using these thermoset plastics. More on material properties and the range of products can be found in our brochure Fixing Ties and Elements for High Temperature Applications (Link to brochure in English, click here).
Cannot find a product for your application? Or would you like to discuss the demands and solutions of high-temperature applications? Your suggestions might be our inspiration for a new product to meet the demands of your application. In this contribution we would like to focus on HellermannTyton’s expertise in injection-moulded cable management solutions made from high-performance, high-end thermoplastic such as PEEK – products designed to withstand high or fluctuating temperature conditions.
Read a feature article click here: “PEEK performance meets MoD and aerospace standards” (Aerospace Manufacturing Website)http://www.aero-mag.com/news/20137/2037/