Polyetherimide (PEI) Resin

What is PEI Resin?

Polyetherimide (PEI) Resin is a blend of polyphenylene ether (PPE) and polystyrene. The PPX blends are unique in that unlike other resin systems, the two polymers are compatible in all proportions. Because of this unique characteristic, polyphenylene products can be made with heat distortions that range from a low of 170 F (styrene) to a high of over 350 F (PPE). With different ratios of the two resins and the incorporation of additive packages for impact strength (non-brominated FR, reinforcements, etc.) a family of products can be made featuring UL-VO to UL HB and UL 5V, high stiffness, and high impact and processability. Both resins are inherently hydrolytically stable that makes the blends suitable over a wide temperature and humidity range.

The polyphenylene products exhibit a unique feature of retention of tensile and flexural strength and low creep even at elevated temperatures.

Impact strength of the polyphenylene family of products is typically unaffected by factors such as humidity and only slightly by temperature and wall thickness. A key advantage of PPX resins is that they maintain their impact strength, even at sub-zero temperatures.

Additives, Modifiers, and Reinforcing Agents:
  • Additives – UV stability, easy release (mold releases), colorants, and other stability additives
  • Modifiers – Flame retardants, impact modifiers, flow enhancers
  • Reinforcing Agents – Glass fibers, mineral fillers

PRL Alternative Material Solutions to

Example: If you’re looking for Sabic Ultem alternatives: find the product in the relevant row and look to the leftmost row to find our alternative.

PRL Grades

  • PRL PEI-G10
  • PRL PEI-G20
  • PRL PEI-G30
  • PRL PEI-G40

Sabic Ultem®

  • 1000,1010
  • 2100, 2110
  • 2200, 2210
  • 2300, 2310
  • 2400, 2410

Datasheets with Full PEI Marterial Properties

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Q. What is the development history of PEI?
A. Polyetherimide (PEI) resin was developed to address challenges of polyimides, including poor processability and high cost. Incorporating polyethers in the polymer chain improves melt processing, while polyimides impart high-temperature performance. Other key properties of PEI include high tensile strength, rigidity and inherent flame retardancy. This amorphous, transparent (amber) resin competes with other high-temperature polymers such as polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and polysulfones
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of PEI?
A. Polyetherimide offers many benefits including high-heat performance, flame retardancy without the need for additives and low smoke generation, good electrical properties, hydrolytic stability, resistance to UV light and weathering, and a desirable combination of mechanical properties, which are retained at high temperatures. After being processed using conventional methods (injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming), PEI can be machined, painted or metallized. Drawbacks of PEI include high costs, limited colorability and poor resistance to certain chemicals, such as polar chlorinated solvents and aromatic hydrocarbons. It also requires higher melt and mold temperatures than many other resins for effective molding.
Q. What applications is PEI used for?
A. Because of its exceptional performance properties, PEI is used in highly demanding applications in the aerospace, automotive and electronics sectors, where it can replace metal and thermosets to reduce weight and streamline processing. Automotive applications include lighting bezels and reflectors, and under-hood parts such as switches and transmission and ignition components. In aerospace, PEI is widely used for interior components such as tray tables and seating. Electrical/electronics applications range from connectors to switches, motor parts, and molded interconnect devices (MIDs). More recently, the use of PEI is growing in the additive manufacturing industry for 3D printing applications such as functional prototypes and production parts that require high strength and flame-smoke-toxicity ratings.
Q. Does clear polycarbonate turn yellow?
A. Under prolonged exposure to UV light, clear PC will turn yellow due to a reaction that causes a change in the chemical or physical structure of the polymer chain. Oxidation, heat and exposure to moisture and additives can also cause or accelerate yellowing.
Q. Does polycarbonate absorb water?
A. Yes, PC is a hygroscopic resin, meaning that it absorbs moisture internally, typically from humidity in the air. This process can cause changes in dimensions, mechanical strength and dielectric properties. Resins like PC are typically dried before molding to optimize the processability and performance of the end application.

Our Mission

My mission at Polymer Resources has not changed since I founded this company more than four decades ago. It includes continuing our tradition of financial stability, sustainable growth and visionary leadership that compounds success for customers, suppliers and employees. It also means proudly manufacturing our products in America, and making them available to the global marketplace.

Les Klein, Chief Executive Officer, Polymer Resources, Ltd.


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