When Sontec Sensorbau, Lennestadt, Germany, a manufacturer of customized system components for measurement technology, wanted a coating for the probe rods on its line of conductive sensors, it chose VICOTE® coating based on VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer because of its ability to withstand abrasion and mechanical damage.

Conductive sensors are used in the food processing industry to measure the level of liquid media in containers or pipelines. The single-rod level probes are used to report the “full” or “empty” status of the container. To detect the marginal level of a medium, the electrical conductivity is determined between the probe rod and the container or wall of the pipeline. The typical length of such a probe is 200 mm (7.8 in).

The high-performance VICOTE coating ensures that built-up deposits of a conductive medium in the area around the process connection cannot adversely affect the measurement. The probe rod, which has a turning part made with VICTREX PEEK polymer, is electrically isolated from the container wall as well as from its own process attachment. The special geometry of the VICTREX PEEK polymer isolating body allows for hygienic sealing of the sensor rod without any dead space. This design is of particular importance since the material has excellent temperature capabilities and very low creep. In this application, VICTREX PEEK polymer is the optimum material, especially due to its very good chemical resistance and ability to pass FDA compliance for food contact.

Coatings such as PFA and PTFE are often used to coat probe rods. While these coatings might initially seem similar to VICOTE coatings in terms of chemical resistance and FDA compliance, they lack the abrasion resistance of VICOTE coatings. In many applications in the food processing industry there are abrasive components in the medium which, when used continuously, can erode softer fluoropolymer coatings. The VICOTE coating with its excellent wear and durability offers a major advantage and provides for longer service life as well as increased safety of the coating against mechanical damage when installing the probe.

About Victrex

Victrex plc is an innovative leading manufacturer of high performance materials, including VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer, VICOTE® Coatings and APTIV™ film. These materials are used in a variety of markets and offer an exceptional combination of properties to help processors and end users reach new levels of cost savings, quality, and performance.

VICTREX® is a registered trademark of Victrex Manufacturing Limited. PEEK™, PEEK-HT™, T-Series™, MAX-Series™ and APTIV™ are trademarks of Victrex plc. VICOTE® is a registered trademark of Victrex plc.

About Sontec Sensorbau

Sontec Sensorbau GmbH produces high-quality, customized system components for measurement technology characterized by their high-level of vertical integration, from design and use of CNC technology through to proprietary coating technology.

For more information, visit www.victrex.com.