ULTEM® is the collective brand name of Polyetherimide (PEI) thermoplastics, manufactured by SABIC. ULTEM® is amorphous, with attributes similar to another thermoplastic, PEEK – though it is less expensive. The two most popular grades of ULTEM® are 1000 (standard) and 2300 (30% glass-reinforced). Colors range from transparent to amber for 1000, or green and tan for 2300. Product Components Corporation offers a wide variety of fasteners and components made from this unique material.
Advantages of ULTEM® include:
• Resistance to UV and gamma radiation
• High dielectric strength, natural flame resistance, and extremely low smoke generation
• Stellar performance in hot air and water environments, with continuous use to 340°f (170°c)
• Retains 85% of its tensile strength after 10,000 hours in boiling water and 100% of its tensile strength after 2,000 cycles in steam at 270°.
• Thermal conductivity of 0.22 W/(m·K), though some sources cite 0.122 W/(m.K)
• FDA and USP Class VI compliant, USDA and NSF approved
• High chemical resistance
• Low smoke output
• Glass reinforcement (2300 grade) provides greater tensile strength and rigidity, while also improving dimensional stability
Applications of ULTEM® include:
Medical, electronic/electrical, microwave, automotive, and aircraft industries, among others. ULTEM® fasteners are commonly used in medical and chemical instrumentation due to their resistance to heat, solvents and flame. ULTEM® can, however, be altered from contact with radiation – though only in situations involving very short, sharp wavelengths. Thus, common medical applications like x-rays and cancer treatments do not affect ULTEM®.
So while ULTEM® – and fasteners made from it – may not be the best choice for everyday household use, it is ideal for the circumstances described above. If you’d like to learn more about this material, please call Product Components Corporation at (800) 336-0406 and ask for Mary.
(Please note: ULTEM® is a registered, trademarked product, created and administered by SABIC. PCC intends no copyright infringement or proprietary claim with its use of the word “ULTEM”®. It is used here solely for editorial purposes.)