A Guide to Heat Resistant Plastics
Heat resistant plastics are polymeric materials that are engineered to withstand continuous operating temperatures up to and exceeding 300° F without any negative effect on their mechanical properties. In addition to heat resistance, they may also demonstrate chemical resistance, corrosion resistance, light material weight, electrical and thermal resistivity, and other advantageous properties, depending on their composition. These various qualities make them suitable for use in a wide range of industrial applications.
As new heat resistant plastics are constantly being developed and introduced, it can be difficult to identify which one is best for a particular application. In addition to maximum operating temperature, there are many other considerations to keep in mind when making the material selection, including, but not limited to, chemical resistance, tensile strength, and wear performance. Below, we highlight some of the top-performing heat resistant plastics and their characteristics to help readers determine which one is right for their needs. Additionally, we outline some of the typical applications in which heat resistant plastics are used.
Top-Performing Heat Resistant Plastics
There are numerous types of heat resistant plastics available, each of which has unique advantages and disadvantages that make it suitable for different applications. Some of the top-performing ones are:
- PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). PTFE—commonly known by the brand name Teflon™—is characterized by its low coefficient of friction and high chemical resistance. It also demonstrates excellent flexural strength, electrical resistance, weather resistance, and thermal stability. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -328° F to 500°
- PEEK (polyetheretherketone). PEEK is a high-performance engineering thermoplastic with a semi-crystalline structure. It is resistant to chemicals, creep, fatigue, heat, and wear and has the highest flexural and tensile strength of any high-performance polymer. These qualities make it a suitable alternative to metals as they allow the material to remain strong and adaptable in harsh environmental conditions. It is suitable for continuous operating temperatures up to 500°
- PEI (polyetherimide). PEI—commonly only by the brand name Ultem®—is one of a handful of commercially available amorphous thermoplastics. It is strong, chemical resistant, and flame resistant and has the highest dielectric strength of any high-performance thermoplastic. It is suitable for continuous service temperatures up to 338°
Typical Applications of Heat Resistant Plastics
Heat resistant plastics are available in many forms, such as heat resistant plastic sheets. These various material forms are used to manufacture parts and products for a wide range of industries. For example:
- They are used for heat and shock resistant components in the aerospace, automotive, and glass industries.
- They are used for heat resistant, emission proof, highly insulating, or defined conducting components in the electrical and semiconductor industries.
They are used for sterilization and hydrolysis proof components for the medical device industry.
- They are used for emission proof and radiation resistant components for the nuclear energy and X-ray technology industries.
- They are used for various components in the chemical industry.
Partner With New Process Fibre for Your Heat Resistant Plastic Needs
Heat resistant plastics play a vital role in many industries. Their thermal stability, combined with their other advantageous properties, makes them a suitable alternative to metals in countless applications. Additionally, depending on their composition, they can be a better material option. For example, in certain cases, replacing a metallic part with a plastic one can result in lower component weight, longer component life, and better component performance.
If you need heat resistant plastic components, turn to the experts at New Process Fibre! We specialize in the manufacture of non-metallic components. Equipped with extensive manufacturing experience and a vast inventory of production equipment, we can accommodate a broad selection of non-metallic materials in sheet, strip, roll, and coil form, including heat resistant plastics. Typical products include washers, spacers, gaskets, shims, and more.
To learn more about our non-metallic fabrication capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your project requirements with one of our team members, request a quote. Our continuous commitment to improving products, maximizing quality, and maintaining cost-effectiveness ensures you will receive the best possible service.