Air Sentry, a manufacturer of contamination control products, looked to Eastman Tritan copolyester to help create a new standard for its line of desiccant breathers. The company, based in Rockwall, Texas, selected Tritan, a new-generation copolyester, for its toughness and chemical resistance, and because it is free of bisphenol A (BPA).
Guardian, Air Sentry’s newest line of desiccant breathers, is the company’s first product line to be made with Eastman Tritan copolyester. The devices are cylindrical with a clear, extruded tube made with Tritan at the center. The product is designed to replace the original equipment manufacturer breather cap or air filter on gear boxes, hydraulic fluid reservoirs, bulk storage tanks, oil drums, transformers and other fluid reservoirs.
Downtime reduced; new applications realized
Moisture breaks down the properties of lubricants and fuels creating equipment wear as harmful as wear from debris. According to Air Sentry, contamination-related lubricant failure accounts for more than 70 percent of unplanned equipment downtime. Guardian is designed to adsorb water from the air before it enters the fluid system and removes particulate contaminants as small as 2 micron. With these breathers, approximately 95 percent of all humidity going into the equipment headspace can be removed.
“We searched for a material that could exceed existing performance limitations with regard to temperature, chemical and impact resistance and that also was BPA-free,” said Scott Dunbar, vice president, filtration and protective coatings. “Extensive research led us to Eastman Tritan copolyester, which has the best combination of the qualities we were looking for.”
With these desirable properties, Eastman Tritan copolyester allows users to install Guardian in areas where previous installations had to be remotely mounted or were not suitable for plastic breathers, including those subject to higher temperatures, vibration and exposure to chemicals.
Air Sentry had such confidence in Eastman Tritan copolyester that it upgraded its fabrication process to manufacture its Guardian line. The spin-welding technique allows for a single-piece manufacturing flow rather than batch processes used for its other lines. Eastman provided support as Air Sentry moved to the new process, which has reduced cycle times.
“Eastman’s technical support and expertise in plastic molding techniques has been greatly valued,” Dunbar said. “The extensive test data available for Eastman Tritan copolyester gave us confidence we were developing a product that would differentiate itself in the market.”
Air Sentry has been pleased with Guardian’s performance, and the product has seen a strong, positive market response. The new product — which Dunbar noted is the best new product launch in the company’s history — helped Air Sentry increase market share in a short time.
Air Sentry is investigating additional applications using Eastman Tritan copolyester. The continued collaboration between the two companies provides additional opportunities to demonstrate Tritan performance in industrial applications.
“Eastman Tritan copolyester has been used extensively in the durables and medical markets, and this collaboration shows the material also is an excellent option for a variety of industrial applications,” said Rob Costella, durables, market develop manager, Eastman Chemical Company. “Eastman is committed to working with its customers to develop products that have game-changing potential.”
Air Sentry’s products are sold worldwide to industries that use capital-intensive equipment to produce their products and services. The products are typically sold through distributors who carry other industrial products or lubricants.
For more information visit www.eastman.com/tritan.
Filed Under: Filters (mechanical) for air + fans, Rapid prototyping