By Cameron Chai
The innovative plastics business of SABIC has conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a sophisticated, pilot facility that will enable process and chemical development for its high performance polymers (HPP), Siltem, Extem and Ultem resins.
The 3,000-sq.ft. plant will allow SABIC to produce quickly a range of polymers, especially customized formulations for its clients. Customer access to research scientists, product development experts of SABIC will be considerably increased and also the fine application development process will be improved. Piloting was done externally before but now this work will be continuously integrated into product development and research and increased to commercial manufacture. The novel plant shows the continual dedication of SABIC to real innovation, functioning side-by-side with clients to offer fine-tuned, increased performance solutions for better differentiation of the end product and success of the business.
SABIC’s polymer product line includes Ultem* polyetherimide (PEI) resins that have been obtained for 40 years in Mt. Vernon and are renowned for their high flame and chemical resistance, heat, high stiffness and strength. They are used broadly in transportation and aerospace and in the medical sector. Siltem resins have amorphous properties and integrate the increased heat resistance of Ultem PEI resin with silicone elastomer ﬂexibility. Applications include cable and wire coatings.
Extem amorphous thermoplastic polyimide (TPI) resins offer superior performance at elongated extreme temperatures and exclusive dimensional stability for thin-wall molding. Extem grades provide the potential to replace metal and ceramic in applications where thermoplastics are not appropriate, and ensure superior design flexibility, weight-out and system cost reduction. They are flame retardant without using halogenated additives that can result in environmental risks as well as increase regulatory compliance issues. Some applications are high-performance connectors and accessories, wire and cable insulation as well as pickup systems and semicon plasma chamber components. The pilot facility will commence operations in the initial quarter of 2012.