50 years of SIGRAFLEX® -
Unrivalled Sealing

With SIGRAFLEX you know what you get.
Safety. Quality. Reliability.

The SIGRAFLEX story begins in 1972 with the inauguration of our first flexible graphite foil line in Meitingen, Germany, and the SIGRAFLEX brand registration. Since then, our brand and products have conquered the world wherever safety, quality and reliability of the sealing materials are required.

From then to now, our SIGRAFLEX flexible graphite materials, SIGRAFLEX carbon and graphite yarns and, most importantly, our SIGRAFLEX people, make the difference by delivering the ultimate solutions for sealing and high temperature applications.

When buying SIGRAFLEX, our customers and the end users know what they get.

Opening ceremony of the first SIGRAFLEX production plant in Meitingen, Germany, 1972

Join us on our journey through the last five decades and read about the SIGRAFLEX history.

We will be adding more details and stories about all the milestones on this page throughout the year.
So be sure to come back!

Milestones in the 50 years of SIGRAFLEX

From the start, SIGRAFLEX established itself as the quality leader in the market of flexible graphite products. With our two production sites located in Meitingen, Germany and Valencia/CA, USA we ensure supply safety for our customers all around the world. Our SIGRAFLEX people always strive to provide products meeting the highest standards of long-term stability, quality, and safety and are pleased to share their technology expertise.

Over the course of the last 50 years, many new and innovative SIGRAFLEX products have set benchmarks for high-end graphite sealing solutions – from SIGRAFLEX UNIVERSAL to SIGRAFLEX HOCHDRUCK, followed by SIGRAFLEX MF® and SIGRAFLEX APX2® up to the TA-Luft compliant PRO variants and our SIGRAFLEX APX2 yarn.

Then and still today, SIGRAFLEX stands for Unrivalled Sealing.

  • The early days: Development of a new unique graphite material

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  • Official opening of first SIGRAFLEX® production plant
  • Registration of SIGRAFLEX® brand
  • New sealing material for difficult operating conditions

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  • SIGRAFLEX® portfolio grows and gains in relevance
  • First large-scale foil order comes from Japan

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  • SIGRAFLEX® NORMAL: First graphite gasket sheet with metal reinforcement

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  • Polycarbon Inc. becomes part of SIGRI

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  • SIGRAFLEX® STANDARD: First anti-stick graphite gasket sheet
  • Foundation of the Valencia site
  • SIGRAFLEX® UNIVERSAL: Reinforced gasket sheet with anti-stick coating

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  • Commissioning new 1,000 mm (39.4”) wide plant in Meitingen, Germany

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  • Start of production of 60“ (1,524 mm) wide foil line in Valencia, USA

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  • SIGRAFLEX® HOCHDRUCK: Graphite gasket sheet meets highest demands for sealabilty and mechanics

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  • "Northridge" earthquake stops production in Valencia, USA, only for a short time:
    operations resume after only one month of downtime

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  • Commissioning of 1,500 mm (59.1“) wide foil line in Meitingen, Germany
  • Granting of SIGRAFLEX® HOCHDRUCK patent

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  • SIGRAFLEX® MF®: Gasket sheet for minimum leakage, best anti-stick behavior and safety

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  • SIGRAFLEX® APX2® foil: Best-in-class temperature and oxidation resistance

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  • SIGRAFLEX® UNIVERSAL PRO and HOCHDRUCK PRO for TA Luft applications

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  • Inauguration of 2nd production line in Meitingen, Germany

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  • Great SIGRAFLEX team effort enables restart of production in foil manufacturing facility in Meitingen, Germany, just three months after a fire

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  • SIGRAFLEX® APX2® HOCHDRUCK: Gasket sheet for high temperature applications

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  • SIGRAFLEX® APX2® yarn: Maximum protection from oxidation
  • SIGRAFLEX®: High purity – best protection from flange corrosion

Keep scrolling for the full story!

  • Coming soon: newest SIGRAFLEX® product innovation

2015

SIGRAFLEX® APX2® yarn: New development in demand offers maximum protection from oxidation

Since Polycarbon Inc. became a part of the company in 1980, packing yarns have been part of SGL Carbon’s portfolio of sealing materials. Initially, it consisted exclusively of carbon and graphite textile yarns (also known as fiber or filament yarns). These were then produced from rayon, pitch and polyacrylonitrile fibers as starting materials.

Packing yarns are relatively soft, pliant fibers which are braided into various shapes and sizes. The resulting products, so called braided, compression or stuffing box packings are processed into packing rings, which are the oldest and still most common sealing devices. They are used in various industries like chemical and petrochemical, pulp and paper, power plants or marine, and seal all types of fluids e. g. in valves, pumps, mixers, and agitators.

Pitch yarns were taken out of the program over the years, but foil yarns were newly added as complement. Since, SGL Carbon has always been the quality leader with the broadest portfolio in the flexible graphite foil market. So, it was naturally to add a wide selection of foil yarns, too.

 

Photo: SIGRAFLEX APX2 yarn for oxidation resistant braided packings

Foil yarns are made from graphite foil tapes that are interwoven with fibers or wires for reinforcement. Materials used for reinforcement include cotton, glass fiber, stainless steel, synthetic fibers or carbon fiber.

As early as the 2000s, SGL Carbon offered a wide range of foil yarns with different reinforcements. The development work was carried out both in the Research & Development department at our German site in Meitingen and at our Yarns Competence Center in Valencia/CA, USA. At that time, our Sales was increasingly approached by customer requests for high-temperature resistant and at the same time high-purity braided packings with excellent mechanical properties.

Initiated by Andrew James und Mike Römmler, the focus of the yarn development work in the early 2000s was increasingly placed on the production of foil yarns with Inconel®* 601 as reinforcement. Inconel® 601 is a nickel chromium iron alloy that is extremely resistant to temperature and corrosion. It is, so to speak, an ideal partner for the SIGRAFLEX® APX2® foil launched in 2004, the best-in-class graphite foil when it comes to temperature and oxidation resistance.

In 2015, the new SIGRAFLEX APX2 flexible graphite foil yarn, made from SIGRAFLEX APX2 foil with Inconel 601 wire reinforcement, was ready for the market. It was presented to the general public at ACHEMA 2015 as the foil yarn offering maximum protection against oxidation.

To this day, SIGRAFLEX APX2 foil yarn impresses with its unmatched performance: resulting from a combination of low friction, flexibility, resilience, purity and excellent media resistance. Because it is manufactured without binders or adhesives, it does not become brittle. And due to its high thermal conductivity, heat generated by friction can be dissipated quickly and safely. And the wire reinforcement provides additional tensile strength as well as pressure and extrusion resistance.

Without doubt, graphite in its various forms is responsible for extending the performance of the packed gland. With the use of SIGRAFLEX APX2 foil, SGL Carbon pushed back boundaries once again and set new standards for oxidation and media resistance and mechanical properties.

With the addition of the foil yarn, the SIGRAFLEX APX2 product family already included three different products, all of which stand for maximum oxidation protection. In 2020, another family member was launched: SIGRAFLEX APX2 coating for packings.

 

 

* Inconel® is a registered trademark of Special Metals Corporation

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