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Plastics & Elastomers
Key Properties and Applications of PES

Popular Application for PES High-heat Plastic

From aircraft interiors, automotive and electrical applications to medical and consumer uses, today PES has several market applications. Let’s discuss some of them in detail.


Key Applications

Polyethersulfone Replaces Metals/ Thermosets in Automotive

Polyethersulfone (PESU) has found growing usage in automotive applications. PESU resin reinforced with glass or carbon fibers is increasingly used in automotive components & thus replacing metal and thermoset materials.

Polyethersulfones are very high temperature resistant amorphous thermoplastics that are used where the performance requirements exceed the capabilities of other engineering plastics.

In the automotive industry, the main applications for PESU are found under-the-hood such as battery caps, oil pumps, oil control pistons, transmission parts, carburetor parts, bearing cages and ignition components. Polyethersulfone are also found in car headlights (screens, housings and reflectors).

Glass fiber-reinforced PESU is also particularly well suited to engine oil circulation systems because the polymer matrix ensures the necessary thermal and dimensional stability when in contact with hot engine oil.

PESU's High Heat Resistance Performance for Electrical/Electronic Applications

High stiffness, strength and dimensional stability permit use of polyethersulfone in electrical/ electronics application.

PESU is used in various electrical components such as coil formers; plug-and-socket connectors; injection-molded printed circuit boards; parts for power circuit breakers; parts for power contactors and relays; transparent covers for signal lamps and switchboards, lamp holders and lampshades; heat shields; sensors; chip carriers; chip trays; battery seals; TV components, hairdryer parts, oven, fan heater and projector components.

In the electrical/ electronic field, polyethersulfone and polysulfone are subject to growing competition from other less expensive amorphous high temperature plastics due to rising cost pressure.

PESU for High Performance Industrial Applications

PES are majorly used where the performance required exceeds the capabilities of other engineering plastics such as polyamide. The exceptional property spectrum of these materials allows them to replace thermosets, metals and ceramics. Futhermore, PESU offers several benefits such as stiffness, mechanical strength, continuous operating temperatures etc.

In industrial markets, Polyethersulfone is used mainly for manufacture of pumps and valves for use in chemical and electrochemical industries, and in process equipment. In general, mechanical engineering, PES can be used in:

  • Oil level indicators
  • Parts for pumps and heat exchangers
  • Parts for automatic beverage dispensers and milking machines
  • Packing for absorption and distillation columns 
  • Seals and conveyor belt idlers

Outstanding Sterilization Resistance Makes PES Suitable for Medical

PES withstands cold sterilants, disinfactans and germicides. It offers very high resistance to gamma and electron beam radiation over the entire range of service temperature. However, when exposed to high-energy radiation, it suffers a noticeable decrease in tensile strength at yield and a significant decrease in ultimate elongation.

PES parts can be repeatedly sterilized in superheated steam. After more than 100 sterlization cycle, it remans transparent and largely retain its high level of mechanical properties.

PES is widely used in medical applications such as membranes for dialyzers; instruments; parts for instruments; surgical theater luminaries; sterilizing boxes; infusion equipment; secretion bottles and reusable syringes.

Membranes Made from Polyethersulfone

Polyethersulfone (PES) is a very common polymer used in commercial membrane fabrication. The strong, microporous film asymmetric membranes are created from high-temperature polyethersulfone polymer. These membranes efficiently remove particulates from solutions during general filtration. Additionally, the low protein and drug binding characteristics maximize recovery of critical drugs used in I.V. therapy, chemotherapy and open-heart surgery.

Recently thin film composite membranes were successfully made using sulfonated polyethersulfone as a substrate material. These sulfonated polymers were found to match the performance of unmodified polyethersulfone (PES) polymer in RO applications. SPES is a modified PES in that there are sulfonic acid group located orthogonally to the ether on the aryl groups.

Thin Film Composite Membranes Made Using Sulfonated Polyethersulfone
Chemical structures of PES (L) and Sulfonated Polyethersulfone (SPES, R)
Source: University of Connecticut



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1 Comments on "Polyethersulfone (PES) - Complete Guide on High-temperature Engineering Polymer"
Kushlani P Oct 24, 2023
Good content. Easy to understand as well I would like to know, value of the refractive index of PES (polyethersulfone)

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