At K 2010, in Hall 6, Stand D42, SABIC Innovative Plastics showcased its global technological leadership with another outstanding achievement: one of the industry's highest continuous use temperature rating for an unfilled thermoplastic material. New flame-retardant Extem* UP thermoplastic polyimide (TPI) resins are extreme high-heat materials that recently achieved a UL746B relative temperature index (RTI) rating of 240C.
By incorporating polyetheretherketone (PEEK) into its proven ultra-performance Extem resin technology, SABIC Innovative Plastics is able to offer customers optimized performance combining the best of both materials. This unique blend technology opens new opportunities for lower-weight, high-temperature continuous use applications such as semiconductor chip trays, connectors for harsh environments, and metal replacement in high-heat oil and gas and aerospace environments. This new breakthrough technology demonstrates once again SABIC Innovative Plastics' commitment to the proactive development of unique specialty resins that meet the highest performance demands of customers.
"Extem UP resins are not only a major technological accomplishment in themselves, but more importantly, represent a new era in extended-use, high-temperature thermoplastic performance," said Peter Catsman, global product marketing leader, SABIC Innovative Plastics, High Performance Products. "Extem UP resins give customers a completely new option for replacing metals, ceramics and thermosets which are complicated to process and can add cost and weight. With Extem UP resin technology, SABIC Innovative Plastics is meeting an important market need for a true high-heat continuous use thermoplastic resin technology with a near-perfect balance of properties."
Excellence Across the Performance Spectrum
Extem UP resins combine the best features of semi-crystalline PEEK, including excellent chemical and wear resistance and high flow, with the advantages of a high glass transition temperature amorphous material, including mechanical strength/stiffness, dimension stability and creep resistance at high temperatures. They meet UL746B requirements at an RTI of 240C, indicating retention of certain mechanical and electrical properties at this temperature over a period of 10 years.
Specific performance highlights are: up to five times greater flex strength and up to five times higher stiffness than unfilled PEEK at 200C; and dimensional stability expressed as a coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is up to 30 percent lower than unfilled PEEK. These performance properties allow customers to design parts with greater freedom and efficiency, achieve higher strength and stiffness using thinner walls to reduce material weight and costs, and provide tighter dimensional control for high-precision applications.
Extem UP resins are currently available as unfilled grades. Glass fiber-, mineral- and carbon-fiber-filled, as well as lubricated grades are now under development. The materials are an excellent candidate for conversion processes like injection molding and extrusion. Potential applications include semiconductor parts (seals, pick-up systems), electrical components (connectors, wire and cable), industrial parts (bearings, gears, bushings) and transportation composites and connectors.
Expanding the Extem Product Portfolio
The launch of Extem UP resins expands the Extem product line to three families, including Extem XH and Extem UH resins which provide short-term high-heat performance for such applications as lead-free soldering in printed circuit board assembly. Other additions are planned for the future.