Polyetherimide - A high-performance plastic with flexible applications

14.07.2020 15:45


Polyetherimide, abbreviated PEI, belongs to the group of polyimides. It permanently withstands high temperatures, is particularly strong and has a high resistance to corrosive and acidic solutions. Due to its versatile properties and high resistance, which can be further enhanced with the use of glass fibre, this high-performance plastic is used in a wide variety of industries. These include aerospace technology, medical and electrical engineering. In the following, we will explain the properties and processing methods of polyetherimide in more detail.

What special properties does polyetherimide have?

In its conventional form, PEI is transparent and has a golden-yellow color shade that can be color matched as required. It has a high continuous operating temperature of 170 degrees Celsius with an extremely high creep resistance. The properties are rounded off by its excellent dimensional stability and hydrolysis resistance. Thanks to its high resistance to a large number of acidic and corrosive chemicals, the range of applications for polyetherimide is broad. The high-performance plastic can even be provided with glass fibers on the inside, making the material even more stable and dimensionally stable. 

What is PEI often used for?

The high-performance plastic PEI is used in various forms and areas due to its multiple and resistant properties. Its non-conductive properties are used, for example, in electrical engineering in the form of terminals, distributors, fuses, coils and insulators. In medical technology, polyetherimide is used in surgical probes or for components in X-ray equipment. 

The robust properties as well as the high heat resistance and low smoke emission benefit aerospace engineering in the construction of antennas and aircraft interiors. Since PEI can even be individually modified in its absorption or resistance to water, it is also used in the form of membranes. PEI is also used to produce precision turned parts for industry.

How does Dr. Müller GmbH in Ahlhorn process the polyetherimide?

Dr. Müller GmbH in Ahlhorn is a globally operating company whose products can be found in a wide range of industries. Under the brand name Ultem, the company processes the high-performance plastic polyetherimide into CNC milled parts, CNC turned parts and 3D printing beds. In addition, Dr. Dietrich Müller GmbH uses it to produce technical films, which are, among other things, the basic material for heat conducting films in the electrical industry. Since these films naturally have all the outstanding properties of PEI, they are suitable for many other applications.

Special designs can be commissioned as well as series production or the production of very small series. The advantage of using polyetherimide is the possibility to individually adapt the material for the respective application. Due to its affordable price and the innumerable application possibilities, the high-performance plastic PEI is one of the most frequently used thermoplastics.

The material PEI in the future

Due to its diverse and modifiable properties, polyetherimide offers many future-oriented perspectives. In the field of medicine, PEI can be used in the manufacture of implants and prostheses. Its high resistance to heat could soon give rise to new products for the kitchen area. 

Furthermore, polyetherimide is ideally suited for the manufacture of individual components for machines or even complete systems.

 


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