When Other ULTEM® Injection Molders Lose Their Cool, Performance Plastics Stays Strong


Need to create translucent injection-molded parts that won’t warp or lose dimensional stability when the heat is on? Then look no further than Performance Plastics, which has a wealth of polyetherimide (PEI, brand name ULTEM®) resin options available.

Ultem PEI Polyetherimide thermoplastic component

Ultem PEI Polyetherimide thermoplastic component

With nearly 100 grades of resin suitable for injection molding, ULTEM is used in an astonishing array of industries and applications, ranging from transportation and healthcare to eyeglasses and headlamps. Its popularity is due to its combination of high strength and stiffness at elevated temperatures, and superior resistance to a broad range of chemicals.

Performance Plastics not only uses ULTEM’s transparent grades, but also translucent and opaque custom colors, as well as grades reinforced with milled glass, glass fiber, various mineral fillers, silica, and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). ULTEM copolymers are available for parts that demand even higher heat and chemical resistance.


Why Performance Plastics uses ULTEM:

  • High strength and stability at high temperatures: A high glass transition temperature of 217°C ensures stable physical and mechanical properties at temperatures up to 200°C. Unfilled, transparent grades of ULTEM offer strength equal to other thermoplastics reinforced with opacifying fillers. Parts maintain their precision dimensions even after steam autoclave sterilization or 10,000 hours of immersion in boiling water.
  • Resistant to environmental stress and cracking: In contrast with parts molded from most other amorphous thermoplastics, parts made of ULTEM resins retain their strength and resist stress cracking when exposed to fats and oils, automotive and aircraft fluids, aliphatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, acids, and weak aqueous solutions. Even without stabilizers, they provide high resistance to ultraviolet and gamma radiation.
  • Resistant to flame: Even without the inclusion of additives, most grades of ULTEM resins are inherently flame resistant and are exceptionally difficult to ignite. These resins generate extremely low levels of smoke when burned and the smoke is no more toxic than wood smoke.
  • Ease of processing: High flowability permits long flow lengths as little as 0.2mm thick using conventional injection molding equipment.
  • Outstanding electrical properties: ULTEM’s flame and heat resistant properties and dielectric strength of 831V have made it a popular choice for electrical applications.

ULTEM applications

The wide range of injection-moldable ULTEM resins Performance Plastics can handle ensures you’ll find a suitable choice for just about any application:

  • Electrical/Electronic: ULTEM resins can be molded into flexible circuits and printed circuit boards capable of withstanding vapor-phase and wave soldering. When compared to epoxy circuit boards, board made of ULTEM offer a higher continuous service temperature. Additional applications include burn-in sockets, switches, connectors, appliance components, etc.
  • Transportation: For under-the-hood automotive applications, designers prefer ULTEM resins for their long-term creep resistance, high strength retention at higher temperatures, and good resistance to fuels, lubricants, and coolants. For aircraft and aerospace applications, ULTEM’s flame resistance and low smoke generation simplify meeting FAA regulations.
  • Healthcare and food handling: ULTEM resins are a popular choice for laboratory ware and healthcare applications because of their resistance to heat, chemicals and gamma radiation sterilization. Their ability to withstand 1,000 autoclave cycles helps reduce costs by allowing sterilization and reuse of a wide range of products. Their resistance to fats and oils, high heat resistance, and microwave transparency make them a natural choice for food prep equipment. In home kitchens, ULTEM’s high gloss and ease of coloring heightens its appeal.

To discover how Performance Plastics can use ULTEM resins to make your next injection molding project easier,  visit our website at https://performanceplastics.com or contact Rich Reed, our vice president of sales and marketing, at (513) 321-8404 or [email protected].