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Ultem fibers offer great aesthetics with enhanced safety

Jul '09
Ultem composite-based materials also provide exceptional flame-smoke-toxicity (FST) performance, low-moisture uptake, thermoformability, and strength retention enabling the composite systems to deliver light-weight performance to eliminate the use of aluminum and thermosets that require long cure cycles. Their inherent low moisture uptake eliminates the need for edge filling and sealing required for many other thermoplastic composite systems.

Ultem Fibers Offer Great Aesthetics with Enhanced Safety
Textiles for aviation and other transportation interiors must meet extremely stringent and toughening safety requirements, including the highest level of FST performance. Now, with Ultem resin-based fibers, manufacturers of textiles and nonwovens can leverage a familiar and proven material (Ultem resin) in a wide range of applications from carpet to fabrics for seating and vertical wall coverings.

In addition to transportation applications, Ultem fiber meets the safety and performance requirements for home furnishings, including mattresses, specialty high-temperature filtration media, and protective clothing for military, emergency response and sports applications. On display in the SABIC booth was a fire suit with an outer shell made of 95 percent Ultem fiber, and an aircraft tapestry also made from this material.

Ultem fiber delivers inherent FST performance without the use of halogens or other flame retardant additives, as well as resistance to extremely high temperatures, chemicals and ultraviolet (UV) light. In addition, the material brings a unique capability to the high-performance fiber market in that it can be dyed using a typical polyester dying process to produce a vast array of colors. Using melt spinning, the material can be produced as monofilaments, multifilaments or staple fibers.

Ultem Foam Combines Strength and Extreme Light Weight
To reduce fuel costs, aircraft manufacturers continue to look for potential weight savings through material replacement in interior and exterior components. The use of Ultem foam can deliver impressive weight savings, coupled with the hallmark, best-in-class FST and high-temperature performance of Ultem resin. Ultem foam is up to 20-times lighter than Ultem resin. This thermoformable, rigid foam with a uniform cell structure is ideal as the structural core in multi-layer systems. Ultem foam meets Ohio State University (OSU) performance levels below 50/50, and offers low moisture absorption, excellent energy absorption and low dielectric loss. It is also transparent to radar.

The Ultem foam product family includes grades with three different densities: 60 kg/m3 (3.8 lb/ft3); 80 kg/m3 (5lb/ft3); and 110 kg/m3 (6.9 lb/ft3). All three grades are manufactured as foam boards by SABIC Innovative Plastics. The boards are suitable for a number of composite manufacturing processes including machining, vacuum bagging, compression molding, and thermoforming. Ultem foam is compatible with metals and thermoset laminate materials, potentially eliminating adhesives and other secondary operations that are common to the aircraft industry.

Applications include aircraft radomes and interior components such as galleys and dado panels.

SABIC Innovative Plastics Holding BV

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