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Is Ultem™ the Ultimate Performance Plastic?

Is Ultem™ the Ultimate Performance Plastic?

The Advantages of Using ULTEM™

Industrial Plastic Supply has a large inventory of performance plastic materials to offer, each with its own unique advantages and applications. In this article, we feature one of the many quality performance plastics that we supply, Sabic ULTEM™ sheet and rod.

Sabic ULTEM® is the brand name for the thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI), this unique commercially available resin has the ability to retain mechanical integrity even at extremely high temperatures. There are various types of this thermoplastic available, based on their formulation and the particular strength and resistance requirements of the end use it will serve. The most common is the virgin unfilled ULTEM™ 1000 sheet and rod. Our second most common version is 30% Glass Filled ULTEM™ Sheet and Rod, also known as ULTEM™ 2300.

Excellent Stability

The main advantage of ULTEM™ is its dimensional  stability and strength, even when the material is exposed to extremely high operating temperatures. The Sabic ULTEM material is incredibly rigid and dimensionally stable as well, with better physical properties compared to similar performance plastic materials like Acetal or Nylon. It has excellent tensile strength and flexural strength, and is especially popular for applications that require plastics with improved stiffness and/or electrical properties.

Machined ULTEM 1000 rod

Broad Chemical Resistance

PEI/ULTEM™, regardless of which grade is used, has exceptional resistance to a wide range of chemicals, including the fats and oils found in foods, alcohols, acids, service fluids for various vehicles, and those found in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Its resistance to such a wide range of chemicals has made this plastic popular for use in reusable machined components in Medical Equipment manufacturing and Pharmaceuticals, as well as in commercial Aerospace applications. The Ultem – PEI material is produced into sheet and rod by a variety of Performance Plastic manufacturers under trade names, including: Tecapei®, Unitem®, Tempalux®, Sustatec®, Mechetec® PEI, and others.

Wide-ranging compliance

PEI / ULTEM™ is one of the few thermoplastics that can meet several of the strictest quality and performance standards in the world. It is FDA/USDA and USP class VI compliant. The thermoplastic is also ITAR compliant for use in firearms applications as well as RoHS compliant for use in electrical equipment. In addition to being resistant to many different chemicals, Sabic ULTEM™ is also highly flame resistant, which has made it very useful in various parts of the commercial aerospace market. This high performance plastic material also is available with factory lot and batch certification from this ISO-9001 certified supplier.

Looking for a quality supplier of ULTEM™ and other thermoplastics?

Industrial Plastic Supply has been in the business of plastics since 1975, specializing in the wholesale engineering, mechanical, and high-performance plastics for any industry.

For more information about this or any other performance plastic material, please check out our website today.

Ultem® / PEI

plastic-rods

Ultem® – Polyetherimide – PEI

Sabic Ultem 1000 and Ultem 2300


Ultem® Sheet and Rod

Stocked in Ultem® 1000 Rods and Sheets, natural and black – and Ultem® 2300 (a 30% glass filled version) in natural (a dark amber) and black.

Great for applications that require improved stiffness, glass fiber filled grades with filler levels of 10% – 40% are available, however, the 30% glass fill is the most readily available. Because it offers superior resistance to autoclave sanitizing and is FDA/USDA and USP class VI compliant, PEI / Ultem is frequently specified for reusable machined components used in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Ultem® Resins were first introduced by General Electric Plastics (GE Plastic) in 1982 and later sold to Sabic. Other material trade names for Sabic Ultem PEI: Tecapei®, Mechetec® PEI, Unitem®, Tempalux®, Sustatec®, and others. The Ultem®PEI materials are high-performance plastics that perform well at high temperatures and under extreme conditions. Ultem is a High Tech Performance Plastic.

Natural Ultem 1000 and 2300 Sheet

Why you should use Ultem:

  • Exceptional Tensile and Flexural Strength
  • Drastically Improved Physical Properties Compared to Acetal or Nylon
  • Easily Machined and Fabricated
  • Excellent electrical and mechanical properties
  • Superior Electrical Properties
  • Meets ASTM-D-5205
  • FDA, USDA, 3A and USP Class VI Compliant
  • ULTEM is ITAR compliant, and ULTEM is RoHS compliant

This materials is…an excellent machining amorphous thermoplastic which possesses a combination of useful characteristics, including high strength at elevated temperatures, high modulus, and broad chemical resistance. Material displays property retention and resistance to environmental stress cracking when exposed to a wide variety of chemicals. Material is extremely rigid, dimensionally stable and able to withstand continuous operating temperatures of 340 degrees F.

  • Excellent Machining Properties
  • Extremely Low NBS Smoke Evolution
  • Inherent Flame Resistance UL 94 5VA at .075″
  • 340 degrees F Continuous Use Temperature
  • Chemically Resistant to Chlorine and Caustic/Acidic Cleaning Agents
  • Offers excellent strength, rigidity and machinability

Materials Available As:

Ultem Sheet: .250″ (1/4?) – 4.0″ in Natural (Amber) in 24″ X 48″

Ultem Round Rod: .250″ – 6.0″ diameter in Natural (Amber) up to 120″ lengths

Film: .005″ – .187″ in Natural (Amber) up to 24″ wide (roll up to .030″) Special Order/Minimums May Apply

Special Formulations: Glass Filled Versions, Custom Sizes, Shapes, Colors and Formulations. Ultem Blocks, Ultem Slab, Ultem Pieces, Ultem Cut Parts are also available. Please Call For Specific Details – (866) 832-9315

Typical Resin Properties for Sabic Ultem 1000

Properties are for evaluation purposes only. This information is not to be construed as a warranty, guarantee or assurance that you may achieve the same results. Materials made from different resin types, manufacturing techniques and manufacturers will react differently. The information should be used to compare against other materials only, and each user should make his own tests to determine suitability. No warranty as to this materials suitability are either expressed nor implied.