Magnetic bearing seals added to John Crane range

Magnetic bearing seals added to John Crane range

ISSN 1350-4789 March 2007 New gasket material designed for fuel cell use Thermiculite 866, from Flexitallic has been developed sp...

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ISSN 1350-4789

March 2007

New gasket material designed for fuel cell use Thermiculite 866, from Flexitallic has been developed specifically for the difficult task of sealing solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) where it has proved to be particularly successful. The material has been developed to be entirely free of any organic binder material but it is available in sheet form, is very soft, easily cut into gaskets and has excellent sealing characteristics. It consists of just chemically exfoliated vermiculite (CEV) and steatite and has been adopted by a number of fuel cell development teams in Europe and the US. It offers freedom from components that would poison or inhibit the catalysts, is electrically insulating and has thermal resistance to above 1000°C. Gaskets of complex shapes can be cut easily and are robust during stack assembly The second filler material is a familiar mineral, talc, also known as steatite and soapstone. This is a naturally occurring, high temperature stable, sheet silicate mineral but it is characterized in that it is very soft. The combination of the chemically exfoliated vermiculite with steatite

results in a material that retains the chemical and thermal durability of mica but which is soft and conformable. The manufacturing method used to produce the foil results in the vermiculite and steatite plates and platelets being aligned parallel to each other and parallel to the plane of the foil. The softness of the material and the plate alignment result in a material which compresses under very low load to produce a compacted material that offers a very tortuous path to any gas trying to permeate through it in the plane of the sheet or perpendicular to that plane. This means that the material has low stress sealing characteristics combined with good thermal stability. The characteristics required for fuel cells also mean that the material is suitable for oxygen service. Contact: Flexitallic Ltd, PO Box 3, Dewsbury Road, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire BD19 5BT, UK. Tel: +44 1274 853539, Fax: +44 1274 851386, Email: [email protected], Web:

Magnetic bearing seals added to John Crane range John Crane has signed an exclusive distribution and licensing agreement with Isomag Corp. that provides them with the right to market and manufacture Isomag magnetic bearing seals globally. This bearing seal is a compact mechanical face seal using built-in magnetic attraction rather than springs or bellows to hold the faces together. These seals are being offered to complement the range of labyrinth seals marketed as ProTech bearing isolators by the company. The magnetic seals are available in standard and engineered designs to fit most rotating equipment. Contact: John Crane Inc, 6400 W. Oakton Street, Morton Grove, IL 60053, USA. Tel: +1 847 967 3939, Email: [email protected]., Web:


CPI buys engineering thermoplastics moulder Robix Compressor Products International (CPI) has acquired Robix, a specialist injection moulder of engineering thermoplastics (ETPs). CPI manufactures a range of compressor products including valves, piston and rod sealing systems and associated products for process gas compressors. It has become a leading company in the compressors sector using engineering thermoplastics in the components it makes, which include piston and rider rings. Robix, based in Braunton, Devon, uses injection moulding, as well as transfer and extrusion-based processes, to mould high performance ETPs. CPI has been a customer of Robix for some time before the acquisition decision was made. ‘Robix had developed into an operation sufficiently mature to warrant a tie-up,’ said Robin Wilson, Technical Director of CPI. CPI carries out some compression moulding of items such as sealing rings at its facility

in Hungerford, Berkshire. The addition of the Robix processes will be complementary for CPI and will ‘further strengthen its leading position in the market’, it said. In addition to the ongoing development of new materials and products aimed at the compressor industry, diversification into other industries which can benefit from the range is also planned. Pumps could be an area that will be suitable for the Robix materials and processes, said Wilson. Robix will continue to serve its other customers, and CPI said it will be able to boost the sales operation of Robix. Contact: Compressor Products International Ltd, Unit 5, Smitham Bridge Road, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 0QP, UK. Tel: +44 1488 684585, Fax: +44 1488 684001, Email: [email protected], Web: www.

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