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Latest Advances in High Heat Polymers!

Donald Rosato – Jun 6, 2019

TAGS:  High Heat Materials     Metal Replacement    

High-Heat Material Trends There seem to be a solid growth in heat resistant end-use molding and extrusion materials, like:

  • PA4T PolyPhthalAmide (PPA)
  • PolyPhenylene Sulfide (PPS)
  • PolyEther Sulfone (PES)
  • PolyEtherImide (PEI)
  • Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), and
  • PolyEtherEtherKetone (PEEK)

Stay updated to be ahead in the plastics industry. Learn here, some emerging high heat materials and their applications...


DSM’s High Heat, Crystalline, Specialty PolyPhthalAmide (PPA)


DSM’s higher heat, crystalline, specialty PA4T PolyPhthalAmide (PPA) has a very high Comparative Tracking Index (CTI) of greater than 400 Volts (V). And it keeps this performance level for durations of twice as long as competitive high-performance resins. Most alternative resins have CTIs well below 400V.

In standard connector drop tests made of Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) connector pins fail at approximately nine drops leading to a failed/no pass short circuit. Neither DSM’s Stanyl® PA4T or Stanyl® PA46 grades ever fail. As a result, it has been globally approved in USB Type-C connectors.

DSM Stanyl® PA4T
DSM Stanyl® PA4T USB Type-C connector


Celanese Improved FORTRON® PPS Resins


Celanese has been improving its linear range of crystalline FORTRON® PolyPhenylene Sulfide (PPS) resins. The linear PPS chemical structure is superior to traditional branched PPS types in terms of:

  • Mechanical toughness
  • Ease of coloring, and
  • Uniform processability

A traditional strength of high heat PPS is its flexural stiffness. Celanese has taken a new direction in creating a more flexible PPS, referred to as FORTRON® Flexible PPS.

This flexible grade retains traditional linear PPS’ high heat capability as well as chemical resistance. One of the key target applications is automotive engine compartment wire ties. Nylon is the long-time cable fastener material of choice here. But, due to nylon's lower temperature resistance and higher moisture sensitivity in current, compactly designed, elevated temperature, automotive engine compartments, end-use specifiers are turning to FORTRON® Flexible PPS.

An extensive range of application tailored elasticity and melt viscosity are available. It can be molded, extruded, or blow molded.

Celanese FORTRON™ PPS
Celanese FORTRON® PPS Injection Molded Cable Ties


Toray's Extremely Tough PPS Resins


Toray has just recently in April 2019 started market sampling what is claimed to be the world’s most flexible PPS with approximately 1,200 Mpa (Mega pascals) in elastic modulus that maintains superior PPS heat and chemical resistance. Initial target development applications are automotive under-the-hood, engine compartment piping and tubing, followed by similar industrial end-uses. Key PPS metal replacement advantages are:

  • Heat resistance
  • Light weight
  • High strength, and
  • Parts consolidation

The mechanical strength of the new PPS resin does not deteriorate even after 1,000 hours of treatment at 170℃. And it has high resistance to acids and vehicle coolants required in the actual end-use operating environment. Toray’s novel flexible PPS resin was based on optimizing the polymer structure off its innovative R&D material design technology database and its proprietary nanoalloy technology.

Toray New Torelina Flexible PPS Pipe
Toray New TORELINA™ Flexible PPS Pipe Concept


BASF's Advanced PolyEtherSulfone (PES) Material


BASF has advanced a ThermoPlastic Composite (TPC) sandwich structure based on its amorphous, high heat, Ultrason® E PolyEtherSulfone (PES) material. The initial application focus is interior aircraft panels. The PES TPC sandwich system delivers fast manufacturing and cost performance efficiency compared to traditional thermoset panels. Ultrason® E PES is versatile in that it can be fabricated into a range of sandwich structure parts utilizing a single mold tool with overall lower manufactured part costs. The sandwich is composed of a thermoformed foam core with exterior laminate surfaces.

Also, BASF has developed a 30% carbon fiber filled PES compound variant, Ultrason® E 2010 C6. This compound when overmolded increases TPC mechanical toughness of the foam core, and allows for designed in ribs, undercut pressure fits, and dimensionally uniform sliding panel grooves. These PES materials are flame retardant meeting aircraft smoke and toxicity regulations. Furthermore, these sandwich structures can operate in a below 100°C right up to above 200°C.

BASF PES Ultrason® E TPC Aircraft Interior Sandwich Panel Structures
BASF PES Ultrason® E TPC Aircraft Interior Sandwich Panel Structures


SABIC's Cost-effective PolyEtherImide (PEI)


Sabic’s amorphous, high-temperature ULTEM™ PolyEtherImide (PEI) is finding application use in:

  • Automotive and consumer electronics
  • Connectivity intensive uses such as photonics, mobile phones, sensors, antennas, and emerging 5G network electronic components

PEI particularly represents a major cost reduction when comparing molded thermoplastic ULTEM™ to very high-priced machined aluminum or slow cycle compression molded thermosets that find major use in RF (Radio Frequency) filters. The versatility of miniaturized design favors molded PEI in terms of consistent dimensional tolerances, low thermal expansion, and superior bond strength to molded in copper wire leads.

These preceding positive performance features harnessed to PEI’s mechanical torque resistance and high strength to weight is very useful in 5G network resonator fastening screws.

SABIC ULTEM™ PEI Fiber Optic Receiver Optical Sub-Assembly
SABIC ULTEM™ PEI Fiber Optic Receiver Optical Sub-Assembly


Evonik's PolyEtherEtherKetone (PEEK) for Metal Replacements


Evonik's VESTAKEEP® PolyEtherEtherKetone (PEEK) is a crystalline ultra-high temperature resin that is ideal application wise in fast-growing, automotive under-the-hood mechanical gear and seal actuator components. Equally important in these type applications is PEEK’s high bearing and wear resistance and chemical resistance in its 200-250°C temperature range. PEEK in these mechanical applications are excellent metal replacements, particularly where gears and seals see high rotating speeds.

Along with all the preceding positive performance features, Evonik VESTAKEEP® PEEK is inherently flame retardant and maintains a high 30% of its room temperature properties at its most elevated continuous thermal use range. That in turn, makes it very useful as sealing O-rings in rechargeable Li-ion-battery packs.

Evonik VESTAKEEP® PEEK Sealing ORings in Rechargeable Li-ion-Battery Packs
Evonik VESTAKEEP® PEEK Sealing O-Rings in Rechargeable Li-ion-Battery Packs


Get Updated on Latest High Heat Plastics


Explore new ideas to address the growing demand of higher continuous & peak temperatures, better chemical resistance, dimensional stability... Join the course: Latest High Heat Polymer Resins & Applications Advances (2019 Edition) today!

Latest High Heat Polymer Resins & Applications Advances


Commercially Available Polymer Grades with High Heat Resistance





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