SABIC expands ULTEM resin portfolio
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SABIC expands ULTEM resin portfolio

Oct 18, 2023

The company claims that new low-viscosity ULTEM 2120, 2220 and 2320 resins exhibit exceptional flow characteristics that ‘empower’ designers to create miniaturized, high-precision components with complex geometries.

The company says that for moulders, the high flow capabilities of these materials offer the flexibility to lower injection pressures or mould thinner walls at the same pressure, while avoiding short shots. In contrast, SABIC boasts that in comparison to other high-flow glass-reinforced ULTEM materials, these new grades maintain the existing colour range of existing ULTEM 2X10/2X00 resins and can be custom coloured for connector identification and product branding. The company also claims that compared to competitive polysulfones, the ULTEM 2X20 grades can produce more-durable and -reliable parts, thanks to their higher mechanical strength.

To advance sustainability, the new ULTEM resins are available as ISCC PLUS certified renewable versions. In addition, they do not contain per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) intentionally added during the SABIC manufacturing process and are not expected to contain unintentional PFAS impurities.

“We developed these new ULTEM resins to meet evolving requirements for exceptionally small and intricate connectors and other components,” said Paul Nugent, senior business manager, ULTEM Americas, SABIC. “The new grades address customer needs for greater design and aesthetic freedom, increased processing flexibility and cost-effectiveness, and reliable performance. We’re confident that these specialty materials can add value across multiple industries, from fibre optic communications to consumer electronics, helping to address rapid technological advances in connectivity and data management.”

Even with glass fibre loadings of 10, 20 and 30 percent, respectively, ULTEM 2120, 2220 and 2320 resins exhibit low viscosity, SABIC says that this enables compact designs with thin walls that expand available space within or surrounding the part. Compared to incumbent ULTEM resins with enhanced flow, these materials demonstrate higher spiral flow properties of up to 36 percent.

In addition, high flow can reduce processing time and production cost. By delivering potential reductions in injection pressure of up to 35 percent, it is claimed that the ULTEM resins can help customers overcome moulding equipment limitations. Improved flow can also permit processing temperature reductions that may cut energy costs and shorten cooling times up to 10 percent for faster throughput. Finally, high flow helps to mitigate issues such as premature solidification of the resin (freeze off) and visual defects.

The ULTEM 2X20 resins can be custom coloured to provide critical identification of the type and speed of fibre optic and electrical connectors, or to enhance the appearance and brand identity of components. SABIC says its ColorXpress Services can develop and precisely match colours and effects, and offers customers a library with thousands of colours that are searchable online.

Resins producer, SABIC has announced the expansion of its high-heat ULTEMresin portfolio with new glass fibre-reinforced grades that aims to deliver high flow, custom colourability and high strength, and are well suited for thin-wall components like fibre optic and electrical connectors.