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High-Performance Films Take on Tough Tasks

SpecialChem / Jan 26, 2005

High-performance films represent a niche market, accounting for about 10% of all commercial plastic films by volume. Compared to their commodity counterparts, high-performance films possess greater tensile and impact strength, greater heat and moisture resistance, and improved gas barrier properties; some also display special electrical or electronic properties. With thicknesses generally less than 0.25 mm, high-performance films are made in relatively small quantities for specialized applications in packaging (mostly for food), electronics, photography, magnetic media, automotive, aerospace, signs and displays. These films tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, generally selling for more than US$4.44 per kg. The rest are made of such materials as polycarbonates, fluoropolymers, polyimides, polyetheretherketone (PEEK), and other engineering resins. Coating high-performance films with other polymers can improve their abrasion resistance, and their barrier, adhesion and antistatic properties.

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