Plating Ultem (PEI)
Ultem’s high heat resistance and low moisture absorption make it ideal for use in the most demanding environments.
With our Surface Activation® technology, we achieve the industries strongest adhesion and process scaleability to meet your needs. Unlike acid etching, media blasting and plasma treating, Surface Activation® leaves the material finish and dimensions unchanged.
This, along with its competitive pricing, makes it an attractive material. Ultem is the specified material of choice for many aerospace and aeronautic applications.
Read more about Surface Activation®.
Ultem is strong, lightweight, and has high-heat resistance.
Why Use Ultem?
Ultem is strong, lightweight, and has high-heat resistance. Its dynamic characteristics, allows it to be injection molded, machined, and 3D printed. Ultem can also be combined with carbon fiber or glass, which expands its useability while still being plateable.
Ultem can also be reinforced with glass or carbon, offering more options for plating. Reinforced Ultem will increase the materials heat-resistance as well as its tensile strength and ductile properties.
A Closer Look at Ultem
Ultem—also known as Polyetherimide (PEI)—is an amorphous thermoplastic capable of withstanding high temperatures as well as functioning as a stable electrical conductor, affording it dynamic stability in regard to its electrical properties over various frequencies and temperatures.
Ultem boasts excellent chemical resistance, high strength, and a natural flame resistance that lends itself to applications such as short-term repeated steam exposure. When exposed to steam, it can retain 100% of its tensile strength after 2,000 hours at 270°F. It offers a heat deflection of temperatures up to 392 °F as well as requiring an atmosphere of 47% oxygen to burn. It can also withstand upwards of 10,000 hours immersed in 212 °F water.
Ultem also allows easy application due to its Creep-resistance and its ductility. Its Creep-resistant qualities afford it longevity since the material is resistant to warping or deformation from various forms of stress. One of the reasons for its creep-resistant strength is its ductility, which affords the material leniency in its deformation before it ruptures. Its ductile properties also give the material convenience in regard to its ability to be molded, allowing it to be used in snap-fit designs or for draft angles. This is possible due to the materials strength as well as its ability to shrink and fit tightly to the materials it is being adhered to.
Since Ultem offers such high flame, heat, and solvent resistance, it is commonly used for chemical and medical instrumentation. One of the major benefits of Ultem within the medical field is its ability to be sterilized with gamma rays, affording it reusability and cost-effectiveness. Beyond its uses in the medical field, it also is used as engine components for both automobiles and aircrafts.