PEEK tubes and rings

Tubes made from high performance polymer PEEK find their way into many different industries and applications, especially in the oil and gas, or semiconductor industry. PEEK is often the choice of material due to its temperature, chemical and creep resistance combined with its thermal stability and compressive strength.

Required dimensions are as much of a driver as the application itself. Ensinger specializes in various processing methods to achieve the capability of producing PEEK tubes and rings for a wide range of dimensions. In our production facilities all over the world, we produce PEEK tubes and rings through extrusion, compression molding, rotational molding (often referred to as spin cast or spin molding), and injection molding. Compression molding allows us to offer sizes with thicker cross sections and wall thicknesses.  Conversely, spin molding can provide tubes with thinner walls, in addition to  offering the flexibility of  billets that will perform in high temperature sealing applications.  All processes offer a wide range of sizes that can be tailored to the customer’s needs. Moreover, we can customize the material blend for tubes and rings by adding suitable fillers and additives or by adjusting the OD and wall thicknesses to fit most oil & gas application needs.

With almost 4000 different combinations of modification, production method and dimension, TECAPEEK offers the best diversity for industrial demand. Our PEEK tubes and PEEK rings are available with wall thicknesses between
5 to 180mm (.2 to 7 inches) and outer diameters of up to 2200 mm (86 inches) and beyond. Lot sizes range from just one single piece for prototyping projects, up to industrial size lots. With a wide range of tube sizes in stock, in addition to others being available on a custom order basis, Ensinger is  a strong leader in the PEEK tube industry.

PEEK tube selector

Select from more than 4000 combinations by using the PEEK tube selector. You can select four PEEK plastic modifications and your exact size range of PEEK pipes and rings. As a result you'll learn more on availability, minimum order quantity and the production method. The best match will tell you which tube is closest to your desired dimension, so that you can reduce material waste when machining the material.

A wide range to select from - peek unfilled and reinforced

PEEK pipes, tubes and rings are available unfilled (TECAPEEK natural) and in the filled modifications, TECAPEEK GF30 natural (PEEK glass fibre reinforced) or TECAPEEK CF30 black (carbon filled PEEK).  For special bearing applications that demand certain frictional properties, PEEK PVX (TECAPEEK PVX black) is the suitable choice.

A wide range of applications especially within the offshore sector, where high temperatures, high mechanical forces and resistance to aggressive chemicals are essential, require a sour gas ageing test to confirm the qualification of the material for use in such harsh environments.
Our PEEK plastic, produced by the extrusion process, meets the strict requirements of both ISO 23936-1 and NORSOK M-710 that is required for sour gas and other challenging environments throughout the natural gas and petroleum industry.

Extrusion is one method Ensinger uses to produce stock shapes from thermoplastic polymers. Cross sections are determined by the tool that is used. For stock shapes from Ensinger, the predominate cross sections are tubes, rods and plates. From a process view the polymer is molten in the extruder unit and homogenized before it is pressed through the tooling to flange in to the desired stock shape form.

Extrusion is very cost effective at long runs for medium to high volumes. Standard sizes do not create additional tooling cost and have a very good availability. Physical properties of an extruded material are comparable to properties of injection molded stock shapes. Heavy cross sections can also be produced with this method.
Unlike extrusion, compression molding is accomplished by placing the thermoplastic polymer (usually in powder form) into a mold. By applying heat and pressure, the polymer is then compressed inside the mold, where the dimensions of the particular tooling determines the dimensions of the final stock shape.

Only very low amounts of scrap will accumulate which makes this process quite cost effective. This material offers more homogeneous physical and mechanical properties and usually results in lower stress than conventional injection molded materials. Compression molding is suitable for low to medium order sizes, where the MOQ basically starts with one piece per cycle. An additional advantage is that it has a relative short lead time and its capable of achieving large dimensions (tools for >100" or >2450 mm can be made available). Good variability of blends and modifications are available.

In this process, a molten and homogenized thermoplastic polymer base (coming from an extrusion unit) is forced into a mold cavity by injection. During a defined cooling phase the polymer solidifies and takes the shape of the geometry of the tool. Then it is ejected by simply opening the tool.

Injection molding is a method suitable for mid-high volume orders but best cost efficiency can be achieved with high volumes, especially as high tooling costs need to be considered if a non-standard shape is required. Injection molding is best suited for small stock shape forms, as larger parts often are not cost effective. Production speed itself is very high and lead times are short. Good variability of blends and modifications are available. Injection molded materials typically offer the highest mechanical properties with filled modifications.

Spin Molding is an interesting method to produce rather large, yet thin walled tubes and rings from high performance polymers such as PEEK. Outer diameters of the final product are limited by the tool that is used. An appropriate amount of polymer is then added into the heated tool while it spins around its roll-axis. Once the material liquefies, it is forced to the outer wall of the tool by centrifugal force, and builds up to the desired wall thickness.

Spin molding is suitable for low to medium order sizes where the MOQ can be one piece only. Unlike extrusion, this method is very flexible with regard to wall thickness, and production speed tends to be about five times faster in comparison to compression molding. Due to the open inner diameter, voids, cracks and inclusions are practically eliminated. Spin molded materials show the lowest residual stress behavior of all production methods used by Ensinger, therefore, only short annealing times are needed. Also interesting, is the very low waste accumulation and the suitability for near net shapes. Good variability of blends and modifications are available.

Typical PEEK pipe applications

  • Back up rings are normally used in high pressure environments in combination with an O-ring or seal. TECAPEEK back up rings have a high compressive strength and thermal stability. In conjunction with temperature, chemical and fatigue resistance, the back up ring material function as an added insurance when spikes in pressure can cause the O-ring to fail and the stronger, tougher, back up ring is used to help prevent failure.

    Backup rings
  • PEEK seals are used in areas that require the control of things such as liquids and natural gasses to prevent leakage. There are several different applications and areas that PEEK seals can be found in, such as valves, compressors, packers and blow out preventers. The high-performance thermoplastic polymer PEEK is perfectly suited for this sealing applications due to its excellent properties such as high temperature tolerance, good mechanical and chemical resistance, and its hardness and rigidity.
  • Valve seats are used in environments to control the flow of fluids, allowing them to flow freely and also have the ability to close to prevent the flow. TECAPEEK is a commonly used material and considered premium in valve seat applications due to its excellent chemical and thermal properties. The high temp polymer remains resistant despite the continuous exposure of hot water and steam, and increases the torque requirement of the valve due to its rigidity.
  • PEEK tubing can be used in various industries including the Energy/Oil & Gas industry. Produced in a wide range of sizes and by several different processes, PEEK tubing can be used in many applications such as spacers, acting as a protective coating or sheath, as well as pipes for the transfer of high temperature fluids. PEEK tubing has one of the highest strength-to-weight-ratios, in addition to the required strength to resist continuous use at HPLC pressure. Therefore, PEEK tubing has become a popular alternative for stainless steel tubing.