Performance Plastics Overview
The group of plastics within this section have been assigned the collective title of Performance Plastics. Included within this section are: Hydlar Z, Kevlar fiber reinforced Nylon 6/6; Kapton, polyimide film; PEEK, polyetheretherketone; Polysulfone; Ryton, polyphenyl sulfide, Torlon polyamideimide; Ultem 1000, polyetherimide high heat polymer; and Vespel, high-performance polyimide.
The Performance Plastics group generally exhibits better thermal stability at high temperatures than other plastics. They are also more flame retardent as well.
Thes plastics also have unique properties that make them well suited to a number of specific, specialized applications. For example, both Envex and Vespel are specified for their low vacuum out gas characteristics. PEEK and Ultem 1000 are used successfully in applications where low smoke is a consideration.
Occasionally, within this group inorganic fillers are added to increase creep resistance and heat resistance. However, this produces a material that is very difficult to machine and also generates a high wear rate on extrusion equipment.
This set of materials is at the forefront of modern-day plastic technology. They are all relatively advanced and high on the evolutionary chain of plastic materials. They represent themselves well as valuable additions to the market of commercially available plastics. Even though many of these formulations and composites were developed with the automotive market in mind (because of their stability at high temperatures), they have found a number of uses in other markets as well.
Due to the rapid growth in the number of these materials (in the last five to ten years), potential applications exist in many untapped areas.
Performance Plastics are available in a wide assortment of sizes in sheet, rods, and films.