Sabic Ultem® Resin Shortage Causing Delays

In September of 2014, Sabic announced issues with extended lead times for all Ultem® (PEI) Resins. These issues were caused by a dramatic increase in the demand this material. In addition, a scheduled outage at their Mt. Vernon facility is planned for April 2015.  Over the last several years, Sabic has increased capacity, and continue efforts to optimize production. Currently, Sabic is the only manufacturer of the PEI resin, under their trade name Ultem®.Ultem Sheet and Ultem Rod, PEI by Sabic, Polyetherimide

The result of an increase of industrial uses for Ultem® and spike in demand, along with the scheduled plant outage is a dramatic resin availability problem. Lead times from Sabic for Ultem® resin are currently being quoted at 14 – 18 weeks (as of Feb 2015).

The growth in the Sabic Ultem® plastic materials is due to many excellent physical properties that the Ultem has. The unique blend of UL 94 V-0 flame retardant properties, high heat resistance, superior resistance to autoclave sanitizing and is FDA/USDA and USP class VI compliant make Sabic Ultem® materials an obvious choice.

What this means if you use Ultem®

The available stock shapes of Ultem® 1000 and Ultem® 2300 our clients use is dwindling fast. We source sheet and rod  materials from all the major Sabic Ultem® stock shape manufacturers. Currently, many of our suppliers have zero inventory of resin or stock shapes. They are completely sold out, and as stated above, are not expecting any replacement resin for 4 or more months. Even then, the flow of resin will be reduced while production levels increase and catchup with current demand.

If Ultem® is what you must have, you have limited options. Industrial Plastic Supply, upon getting the news (see Press Release of Nov. 21, 2014) of the upcoming shortages, purchased all the Ultem® 1000 and Ultem® 2300 sheet and rod that suppliers had available. This large purchase was done to protect existing customers from a devastating outage, that could cause production slow downs or even shut downs. The common Ultem® shapes Sabic ultem shortage causing manufacturing delaysproduced are: Ultem® 1000 rod, Ultem® 1000 sheet, Ultem® 2300 rod, Ultem® 2300 sheet, and some Black Ultem® 1000 and Black Ultem® 2300 in sheet and rod. Contact Industrial Plastic to see if the Ultem® sheet or Ultem® rod material you need is still available.

What other options are available

In many cases, the Ultem® material that is specified may simply be unavailable for the foreseeable future. What options are available for other materials that may solve your immediate needs?

There are several materials that have some of the physical properties of the Sabic Ultem®. No one material has all the same properties, or the exact same properties as Ultem®, but several materials may work for your application. The determining factor will be the main physical properties you may need and want.

  • For High temperature resistance, look at: PTFE, PPS, PSU (Polysulfone), PPSU (Radel®) and PEEK
  • For Medical Applications, consider: PVDF (Kynar®), CTFE, PPSU (Radel®) and PEEK
  • For UL-94 V-0 requirements, investigate: PVC, PPS (Polyphenylsulfide), PTFE and PEEK

If you have specific properties or applications that you would like assistance with, please feel free to contact Industrial Plastic Supply, Inc. at 866-832-9315.


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Topic: Ultem® Sheet and Rod Shortages Causing Manufacturing Slow Downs

Large engineering plastic from Gehr Plastics

One of our secret claims to fame

Since 1975 we have provided large diameter plastic rods and thick plastic sheets, plates, slabs and blocks. One of our long time ‘secret’ sources has been Gehr Plastics. Since 1932 the Gehr family has owned and operated the Gehr Plastics company. They are a worldwide leader in semi-finished plastic shapes in thermoplastics, primarily sheet and rod. The headquarters for Gehr Plastics is in Mannheim, in south western Germany. For almost 30 years, Gehr Plastics has had production facilities in the Philadelphia area, providing the USA with the same high quality plastic shapes. When we mention large diameter rod, we mean it! Gehr can produce plastic rod up to almost 20″ diameter in several grades of plastic. They also produce sheet plastics up to 8″ thick, and make the largest materials of most manufacturers of plastic sheets and rods.

At Gehr Plastics, Quality Engineering Plastic Comes First

Our first purchases with Gehr Plastics was in the PVC rod family. Once again, they make huge cross sections in many materials, including the PVC rod. Many manufacturers struggle with large sections of PVC rod because keeping it void free throughout the large diameter is very difficult. Not for Gehr Plastics, they specialize in engineering plastic materials. We have chosen this high quality manufacture for their exceptional product quality. We know the demands of our client base, and only choose the best factories to supply our products. Gehr is definitely one of the premier plastics producers in the world. While the quality of the PVC rod is excellent, the rest of the Gehr Plastics product line is also some of the best plastic semi-finished shapes available in the market place. Here is a list of some of the many materials that Gehr Plastic produces:

Many of the above items are also available in sheets, plates, slabs or blocks.Gehr Plastics PVC, ABS, POM-C, Acetal and Ultem Rods engineering plastic specialists

Gehr Plastics – one of our engineering plastic partners

We have been proud to offer the complete line of plastic rod, sheet, slab, plate and block from Gehr Plastics, and consider them a highly valued partner in supplying these engineering plastic materials to you, our valued client. For more information on the size range, availability and pricing on these and other plastic materials, click here or call us at 866-832-9315

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Topic: Gehr Plastics – supplier of engineering plastic materials



PLASTICS IN THE MEDICAL FIELD Polyethylene Bags

When we think of plastic, we think of plastic bags you get at the grocery store or maybe your child’s toy that’s made out of cheap throw away material. If you stop and think about it, plastic is everywhere and it’s uses are almost infinite. Take Acetal or Delrin® ( a Dupont brand name) as it is more commonly know. It is a plastic that replaces metal in numerous applications and is used to make gears, screws and other hard working parts. Consider PTFE for instance which is used to coat your frying pan to make it non-stick, make steam valves and fittings, and chemical resistant parts. Another material is Polycarbonate or Lexan® (a SABIC brand name -formerly G.E. Plastics) which is used to replace glass because it is shatter resistant and is also used for bullet resistant glazing and riot shields. Even the cup of coffee you grab for every morning is made of foamed Styrene – Styrofoam. But plastic has shaped our lives in countless ways, many of them you might not even think of or notice.

Plastic used in medical replacements for limbsPlastics play a big part in the world of medicine. Some other advancements in the area of medicine include assisting people with debilitating injuries and serious afflictions, helping them feel more comfortable and move easier. Prosthetic limbs and joint replacements have come along way since the old days of metal and wood. Since the late 90’s UHMW or (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) has become the standard in hip and joint replacements. With plastics like UHMW, which has great wear resistance, excellent strength and very low co-efficient of friction (very slippery), it has made people who need these surgeries have better mobility and better quality of life. These plastics also make prosthetic limbs lighter and stronger for athletes who wish to compete and lead near normal active lifestyles due to the use of plastic polymers (derived from the Greek meaning ‘many parts’) mimicking human flexibility. Prosthetic devices date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians where they used leather and wood for toe and foot replacements. But thanks to today’s technologies and advancements in as plastic, most amputees and athletes can regain their quality of life and enabling them to do what they love.

What has Medical Plastic Done For You Lately?

Another plastic material that has changed the medical field is PEEK (Polyetheretherketone). This material is a newer plastic which has high Natural PEEK Medical Grade Rodchemical resistance along with excellent high continuous temperature resistance of up to 480 degrees fahrenheit. PEEK has replaced many metal devices in the medical field, because PEEK is one of the only thermoplastics (plastic which can be bent or shaped) able to withstand high doses of radiation over an extended lifetime. In addition PEEK is used to help many people awaiting kidney transplants because it is used to make a critical component in dialysis machines. These machines need to clean the blood over a period of several hours and because of this, PEEK is the natural solution, as it can be steam cleaned time and time again with little effect on the material. Along with its great chemical, temperature, and fluid handling stability, PEEK is USP Class VI, making it ideal for these types of medical applications. The natural color of PEEK is a beige to tan and is available in sheet and rod. One of the largest manufacturers of PEEK resin is Victrex and their 450G resin.

Plastics In Medicine – Everyday

Plastic materials have become apart of our lives and has changed the way we take care of the sick and injured, how we protect our foods from germs, and prolong the storage of foods. Plastics protect medical instruments and insure they are sterile. It has made people’s lives better in both the short and long term. It has helped reduce pain, gain better movement and has given people their confidence back. The values of plastic can not be understated and in the future, hopefully plastics will save or prolong many more lives through advancements in technology and the limitless possibilities it presents.

For more information on these and other medical grade plastics like: Clear Nylon (look for blog post on this), Ultem, Polysulfone, Radel and more, contact us. E-mail us or call 866-832-9315

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Innovative Plastics Manufacturer

Produces Innovative Sheet and Rod Materials

Gehr Plastics has been a major global manufacturer in the plastic sheet and rod industry since 1932. During this period, Gehr has become a leader in a variety of product lines, and also become known for very large sizes in both sheet and rod. Currently Gehr can produce Acetal rod up to 20″ in diameter and sheets up to 8″ thick. Gehr Plastics PVC, ABS, POM-C, Acetal and Ultem Rods  Some of the many plastic materials the Gehr produces:

Winner of the 2008 Bioplastics Award

Bio Based EcoGehr Plastic Rod Being innovative also means looking forward. Gehr was selected as the Bioplastics manufacturer of the year in 2008, partly for the new line of plastic materials which have a bio base. These materials have a variety of bio based forms, including: a PLA base, Cellulose based, Polyamide and Wood – Plastic Composite (WPC). One such material is ECOGEHR PLA-L which is a blend of polylactic (polylactic acid), some lignine, fatty acid and wax. This biopolymer is new to our industry and can be used in temperatures ranging from -22 °F to +140 °F. This complete line of materials is one of the only available in the plastic industry to be comprised of many renewable raw materials. Gehr leads the way in this exceptional and innovative product line.

ClearGehr Polyamide Rod

This brand new product is a Clear Polyamide rod. The outside surface is as extruded, and can be polished. This enables the production of a relatively clear sight glass quality material with most of the high end properties of Polyamide – Nylon material. We have supplied this material for small machined parts where neither Polycarbonate nor Acrylic would work well. Because of the natural inherit chemical resistance of Polyamide, this high end ClearGehr rod can out perform all normal transparent plastics. Give us a call to see if this new innovative product will work in your difficult application.

FDA Approved Wear Grade Acetal

Have you been looking for an extended wear Acetal material (like the PTFE filled Acetals – Delrin AF), but need it to be FDA approved? Then perhaps you should consider WearGehr. This propriatary filled Acetal material has excellent wear resistance, and retains the FDA approval of the base Acetal, unlike the PTFE filled Acetals which are not FDA approved. It is made in a blue color for easy identification, also it remains very machinable. Contact us for more information on this excellent high tech material. Call us at 866-832-9315 or send us a note here.

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Unitrex Lf20 – PTFE Filled PEEK

A newly released form of Filled PEEK is now available. This PEEK is filled with PTFE and is called Unitrex Lf20, and it is filled with 20% PTFE. This new grade of PTFE Filled PEEK plastic is produced by Nytef Plastics. It is an extruded thermoplastic that comes in both rod and sheet form. This grade has significantly improved properties over the standard unfilled grades of PEEK. The PTFE filler provides excellent wear properties and has a very low co-efficient of friction, which makes this a great material for sliding and wear applications, and is made to last for long periods of abuse. Unitrex Lf20 has great machinability and dimensionally stability. It has a wide range of uses in such fields as medical, semi-conductor, and aerospace seals, where standard PEEK is too rigid. These properties enable this material to replace Polyimide (Vespel®) and PCTFE (formerly Kel-F) in many applications of high chemical resistance and the ductility for use in seals. This Filled PEEK works extremely well in Medical, Semi-Conductor and Aerospace Seal applications. Nytef Plastics Unitrex Lf20 Manufacturer

PTFE Filled PEEK vs. PTFE Filled Acetal – Delrin

 

Comparable to Lf13 which is 13% PTFE filled Delrin (Delrin AF), which is also good for most of the same types of applications but cannot withstand the high temperatures than that of Unitrex Lf20. The PTFE Filled PEEK has a melting point of 650 degrees F while the PTFE Filled Delrin – Unital Lf13 has a melt point of 347 degrees F, making both materials high temperature plastics.

Because the Nytef Unitrex Lf20 is filled with PTFE (which has the lowest co-efficient of friction of any plastic), it is ideal for sliding and wear applications. It also has a kinetic and static friction resistance of 0.1 which makes it the perfect choice for jobs were heat from friction should not be generated and part longevity is critical. Unitrex Lf20 offers superior properties to many other plastics, such as high heat and chemical resistance but also great friction resistance along with improved properties to make it a great plastic for a wide spectrum of uses.

Why Change from Vespel SP-1 or PCTFE to Unitrex Lf20?

While this new PTFE Filled PEEK will not replace the Vespel SP-1 and PCTFE in all applications, it certainly will in many applications (see table for comparison). The main reason to make a change is, drum roll please, COST. The Unitrex Lf20 is up to 30% less expensive that the other materials. With similar and comparable properties, consider making the change.

Unitrex Lf20 also exhibits a far superior chemical resistance to that of its Delrin counterpart due to PEEK having a far better range of chemical resistance to aqueous and organic environments as well as acids and alkalines. Delrin tends to degrade when exposed to such chemicals like sulfuric acid and chlorine while PEEK only tends to be attacked by halogens and hydrocarbons such as in crude oils. For additional properties and to compare the Unitrex LF-20 to Dupont Vespel SP-1 and PCTFE see the table below. Here is a copy of the full data sheet on Nytef Unitrex Lf20.

 

Standard Properties Table

Properties TestMethod Unit UnitrexLF20 Nominal Value PCTFE(Kel-f) Nominal Value VespelSP-1 Nominal Value
Specific Gravity ASTM-D-792 1.42 2.1 – 2.14 1.43
Tensile Strength ASTM-D-638 psi 11,500 4,800 – 5,300 12,500
Tensile Modulus ASTM-D-638 psi 460,000 207,000
Flexural Modulus ASTM-D-790 psi 500,000 180,000 450,000
Rockwell Hardness ASTM-D-785 84-D 90-D 45 – 60 E
Melting Point DSC degress F 650 410 – 415 680+
Flammability UL 94 @ 3.0mm V-0 V-0 V-0
Kinetic Coef. of Friction ASTM-D-1894 0.1
Static Coef. of Friction ASTM-D-1894 0.1

For additional details on these and other materials, please contact us here or call us at 866-832-9315

Unitrex and Unital are registered trademarks of Nytef Plastics, Ltd.
Nytef is a US manufacturer of plastic sheet and rod, is based in Bensalem, PA
Delrin and Vespel are registered trademarks of E.I. Dupont

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