TPU 'holds key to low lifecycle costs'

Paul Boughton

As the beating heart in all manner of systems including diaphragm pumps, diaphragms have to withstand long and heavy loads. They also have to meet the toughest of requirements in pneumatic systems, fittings, and many, many other applications. With diaphragms made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), Freudenberg Simrit has taken a step towards extending the service lives of diaphragms. TPU is also incredibly resistant to abrasion, which means that the components in which it is used in get top grades for lifecycle duration and economic efficiency.
With its modular polymer structure, polyurethane makes it possible to adapt sealing materials exactly to meet the relevant set of requirements in a given application. The secret lies in TPU's 'molecular blueprint' and its controllable chemical synthesis.
The recently developed materials for TPU diaphragms have more tear propagation resistance than conventional elastomers which, among other things, is reflected in their extremely high tensile strength and elasticity, their outstanding abrasion resistance, and their unique overall tear propagation properties and flexural fatigue strength.
Moreover, when bonded with PTFE films they can be used in conjunction with very aggressive media. TPU also boasts excellent resistance to ozone and oxidizing agents.
Modern calculation and simulation tools mean that comprehensive optimization of TPU diaphragms is possible. To this end, both the shape and geometry of the diaphragm, as well as the fabric inserts, PTFE protective film, inserts, and overall composite structure can be adapted to meet the relevant set of requirements in a given application. The geometry of the diaphragm is also optimized in terms of the specific structural characteristics of each pump range. In other words, every diaphragm can be designed in such a way as to be exposed to the smallest possible complex of loads under all operating conditions. This means that thanks to sophisticated FE analyses, suitable diaphragm shapes can be identified for: vacuum pumps, double diaphragm pumps, or diaphragm metering pumps; pneumatic systems; fittings; air conditioning and heating technology; sanitary systems and architectural engineering.

These diaphragm shapes are exposed to the smallest possible peak loads both in terms of moving characteristics and under high pressure.
These outstanding properties of the TPU diaphragm, which above all lead to longer service lives and therefore lower lifecycle costs, can also be used in existing pump and component ranges.

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