Effectively immediately, BASF is adding a third type of polyarylsulfone to the two existing materials Ultrason® S (PSU) and Ultrason E (PESU). This new family member is Ultrason P, a polyphenylsulfone (PPSU). The first grade of the new product line is called Ultrason P 3010 and it is already available to customers now.
The material Ultrason P combines the high melting temperature of Ultrason E with the low water absorption of Ultrason S, while also displaying high chemical resistance. Its good notched-impact resistance is of particular significance since most amorphous high-performance plastics are notch-sensitive and can break at notches under impact stress. This property also becomes evident when the so-called Charpy notched impact strength is measured: Ultrason P achieves a value that is almost ten times greater than that of other amorphous high-temperature materials. It also lends itself much better to being sterilized with hot steam than other plastics of this class. Even when exposed to a combination of strong cleansers and disinfectants as well as high heat, Ultrason P remains unharmed, withstanding up to 2000 hot-steam cycles without problems. On top of it all, its inherent fire resistance is yet another plus point.
“With Ultrason P, we are expanding our range of high-performance plastics and penetrating markets that were hardly accessible with the materials we had so far,” explains Matthias Dietrich, head of the global business for Ultrason. "The production of this plastic in the requisite high quality is so complex that only a few companies in the world are in a position to manufacture it.”
In water pipes, airplanes and milking machines
The most important applications for Ultrason P include pipe connectors and valves in plumbing, where the parts even have to pass tough tests with a hammer and 40-year warranties on the properties of the plastic products are not seldom. In aircraft construction, special value is ascribed to fire safety, and here Ultrason P offers optimal conditions since it generates little heat and releases hardly any harmful substances in case of fire. Seat and lamp covers, ventilation valves and overhead bins for carry-on baggage as well as in-flight food containers are potential applications. In the realm of milk production in the agricultural sector, the requirements regarding sterilization and resistance to cleansers are particularly high, so that this new specialty plastic lends itself very well here, also for transparent parts of milking systems. The approval procedures for contact with food products and drinking water are currently under way.
This new plastic is produced at BASF’s Ultrason plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, where the annual production capacity is currently being expanded from 6,000 to 12,000 tons. In addition to a transparent grade, a white and a black Ultrason P 3010 will also be added to the product range.