14 Mar 2003
Distributor gears in Victrex® PEEK™ polymer deliver improved performance on the race circuit
Working closely with Victrex, Performance Plastics Ltd of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, developed a proprietary Victrex® PEEK™ polymer compound that outperforms traditional bronze alloy for racing car distributor gears.
To drivers on the race car circuits like NASCAR, performance in getting horsepower to the rear drive wheels is critical. When a distributor gear wears out during a race, vehicle performance declines significantly. In its quest to develop a longer lasting gear, Performance Plastics turned to Victrex plc, suppliers of high performance thermoplastic Victrex® PEEK™ polymer, for help in developing a replacement for conventional bronze alloy gears.
One of the major advantages offered by Victrex® PEEK™ polymer is its ability to survive high temperatures and the wear common both to dry and lubricated material contacts. The polymer has a continuous operating temperature of 260°C (500°F) and retains a high level of physical properties close to its melt temperature of 343°C (645°F). Also key is that using Victrex® PEEK™ polymer allows a very substantial weight reduction, it delivers an 81% weight saving over the previous bronze alloy gear, and the benefit of using lighter weight components is that less power is required to operate the engine, making more power available to the drive wheels.
The Victrex® PEEK™ polymer part is manufactured to the same dimensional standards as the bronze alloy gear but can also be made oversize to reduce backlash and increase horsepower. According to Performance Plastics tests have shown that the Victrex® PEEK™ polymer gear lasts more than five times longer than the bronze alloy gear it replaces. Whereas bronze alloy gears can wear out in the course of just one race, the Victrex® PEEK™ polymer gear can last for a complete race season .
Performance Plastics developed proprietary compounding and machining technology in order to make the higher performance polymer gear at a price that's attractive to consumers. The Victrex® PEEK™ polymer gear has already provided a successful solution and is currently being used by a number of distributor manufacturers.
Reader enquiriesHelen Swarbrick
Victrex Technology Centre
Lancashire FY5 4QD
Tel +44 1253 897700
Fax +44 1253 897701
+44 1253 897700
Notes for editors
Victrex plc, which has its sales, technical and production headquarters at Thornton Cleveleys in Lancashire, UK, had a turnover of more than £59m in the last financial year. The company exports 97 percent of its Victrex® PEEK™ polymer output to OEMs in the automotive, industrial, medical, food and electronics market sectors in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
Information on products, technical support services and sales and distribution contacts worldwide, can be accessed through the company’s web site: www.victrex.com.
The PEEK™ Trademark
For many years Victrex plc has been using the PEEK™ trademark to refer to its brand of Polyetheretherketone. Victrex plc is the sole manufacturer and supplier of the Victrex® PEEK™ brand polymer world-wide. PEEK™ is a trademark of Victrex plc.