We encapsulated in FEP a free-issue stirring paddle. Used for off-shore field development work, the bespoke fluoroplastic component needed to follow tight tolerances and as such, proved challenging. For this one-off project, we quickly supplied a proto-type for testing and once this proved successful, produced the small quantities required.
Our off-shore customer required his encapsulated free-issue part to follow the following criteria:
The stirring paddle to coat measured 2mm thick, 46mm long and 12mm wide with a flat profile overall and a curved profile at one end.
The wall thickness of the coating and the seal should be 0.5mm ID.
The seal must follow the profile of the paddle, ensuring the coating didn’t affect the performance of the paddle.
The coating material should be resistant to chemicals and high temperatures to survive in the harsh environment of the off-shore industry.
Small quantities needed to be produced.
For this project, FEP was chosen as the coating material, as it is resistant to high working temperatures and chemically inert, and enjoys non-stick and low friction properties. In addition, FEP can easily be moulded and thermoformed into complex profiles, and is ideal for encapsulating instrumentation.
Encapsulating the stirring paddle proved challenging. This project required coating a flat profile over the whole paddle, forming an even seal over the curved end and keeping the same thickness over the seal.
Using in-house bespoke tooling made specifically for this project and thermoforming techniques, we welded the fluoropolymer material to produce the reformed seal to the customer’s tight specifications. We were able to accurately control the seal thickness and produce a consistent coating profile.
Encapsulating components with fluoroplastics provides you with a high temperature, chemically inert and non-stick coating. FEP, PFA and PTFE are some of the most inert materials known to man, and they also have a very high temperature resistance. They are ideal materials for the protection of components in applications where highly corrosive or solvent conditions exist.
Using combinations of custom manufacturing techniques in conjunction with thermoforming processes, a coating can be applied on almost any item in FEP, PFA and PTFE. Once applied all fluoropolymer coatings are fully inspected and spark tested to ensure the integrity of the seal.