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20 Mar 2014


Arlon 3000 XT Back-up RingsAberdeen, UK (March 2014)  – Greene, Tweed has worked with one of its customers, a leading oilfield services company, to eliminate breakage in its small back-up rings. In the past, glass- or carbon-filled PEEK had been used for the back-up rings; however these materials were very brittle, and would often break during installation. To overcome this challenge, Greene, Tweed suggested switching to Arlon 3000 XT, a new polymer that would offer greater flexibility with the same, or better, performance. After making the switch, the customer reduced their scrap rate to nearly zero.

Breakage is a common problem in back-up rings during installation, and is particularly acute in small rings of 1 inch (25 mm) diameter or less. The materials used in this case – glass- or carbon-filled PEEK – were originally chosen because they could withstand temperatures of 356°F to 401°F (180°C to 205°C) and pressures of 25 to 35 ksi. However these materials are known for their brittle nature, and for Greene, Tweed’s customer, this meant over 60-70% of their back-up rings broke during installation. With a scrap rate that high, the customer had to keep large amounts of stock on hand, and routinely lost significant amounts of time on multiple installation attempts.

Greene, Tweed suggested Arlon 3000 XT as an alternative material due to its better elongation and exceptional extrusion resistance. Able to withstand temperatures over 500°F (260°C) and pressures greater than 40 ksi, it offered an elongation three times higher than filled PEEK. It also provided superior mechanical property retention above 350°F (177°C). After switching to Arlon 3000 XT for its small back-up rings, Greene, Tweed’s customer reduced their scrap rate to nearly zero. Pleased with this success, the customer has since converted all of their back-up rings to Arlon 3000 XT. This has given them the added benefit of streamlining purchasing versus working with multiple suppliers and materials.

Greene, Tweed leverages expertise in a variety of markets and products to give customers the most innovative solutions to meet performance challenges and reduce total cost of operation. With fully qualified engineering, sales and support personnel located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, Greene, Tweed delivers solutions to individual customer applications on a global scope. Greene, Tweed products are sold and distributed worldwide. For additional information, contact Greene, Tweed at + or visit our website at

Arlon® 3000 XT by Greene, Tweed based on VESTAKEEP®, an Evonik product.

Arlon® 3000 XT is patent pending.


Judy Eby
Marketing Communications Manager

Glenn Doell
Technology Transfer Director

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