Companies that supply our world with energy, whether renewable or oil and gas sourced, depend on high-performance plastics in the energy sector for a number of critical applications. As new technologies emerge and existing solutions are improved, state-of-the-art materials offer a range of benefits, making them ideal for challenging applications in this specific segment.
Proper material choice is critical for energy applications. The wrong choice can lead to inefficiencies, disruptions, or component failure, resulting in economic losses and potentially creating hazards for products and people. If you are not experienced with high-performance and engineered plastics, work with an expert knowledgeable in the industry with the expertise and capabilities to support you in choosing a polymer that will meet the needs of your application.
Sustainability Goes Beyond Resins: Ensinger has embraced sustainability in plastics as part of its core identity. Learn how we’ve aligned objectives with these core values.
Renewable Energy and High-Performance Plastics
In 2019, about 11 percent of the US energy usage was powered by renewable resources. Wind and hydropower are key renewable energy sources today, but biomass, solar, and geothermal energy are also used. As the world pushes for decarbonization, the reliance on renewable energy sources will continue to grow.
Renewable energy has become a more competitive energy source in recent years because of rapid technological advances and declining costs. Polymers have aided the renewable energy industry in making gains in efficiency and productivity.
Renewable energy sources can subject polymer components to challenging environmental conditions, including extreme temperature fluctuations and UV light. Parts must withstand these extreme operational demands while providing other critical properties, such as greater mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, thermal resistance, and more. Some products, like solar tracking and wind turbine bearings, benefit from a polymer with friction-reducing properties. Other applications, such as battery separators and EV charging station components, require electrical insulation properties.
High-performance plastics can be found in a number of components, such as in wind turbines, where they serve as structural supports for blades; solar panels, where they protect against UV rays; fuel cells, where they act as barriers between two different electrolyte solutions; batteries which require strong yet lightweight housings capable of containing powerful chemicals safely over long periods; and electric vehicles requiring highly efficient motors surrounded by protective casings made from these polymers.
The Oil and Gas Industry Relies on High-Performance Plastics
The harsh conditions and high costs associated with the drilling and production operations require materials that offer outstanding stability and durability. High-performance polymers are becoming increasingly popular in the oil and gas industry due to their advantages over traditional metallic materials. The oil and gas industry demands high temperature, high pressure (HTHP), high mechanical strength, and chemical resistance materials suitable for the most extreme environments.
Both onshore and offshore production components benefit from the longer part life and improved performance. High-performance and engineering thermoplastics can handle tough challenges, from bearings requiring low friction to components that face long-term extreme temperatures.
Common polymers used for oil and gas applications include polyimide, PTFE, and PEEK.
They are used in hydrophone housing, seals, valve seats, backup rings, bushings, and gears, which benefit from the weight reduction, corrosion resistance, thermal decoupling, and minimized noise emissions provided by these materials.
Peak Performance with PEEK: With strong material characteristics, PEEK is a popular high-performance thermoplastic for a variety of applications and industries.
Find the Right High-Performance Plastics in the Energy Sector with Ensinger
With experience in renewable energy and the oil and gas industry, we can address the challenging requirements of components used in these industries and find high-performance plastics in the energy sector that meet your needs. Material selection and engineering support combined with our extensive manufacturing capabilities and supply chain management provide a total solution for your high-performance plastic parts.