Tuesday 12 May 2020

Design Properties for Engineers: Chemical Resistance of High Performance Polymers

In this post, we discuss the chemical resistance of several high performance polymers. As a rule of thumb, the chemical resistance of polymers decreases with increasing temperature. In this case, high performance polymers have natural advantages compared to commodity or engineering polymers. 

Amorphous high performance polymers such as Polysulfones (PSU, PESU, PPSU) and polyimides such as PI, PAI, PBI, PEI have a good chemical resistance. PTFE, PPS, and PEEK have an outstanding universal chemical resistance over a wide temperature range. There is no organic solvent which can dissolve PTFE or PPS up to 200°C. PEEK only dissolves in sulfuric acid.

In general, PPS and PEEK have a slightly lower chemical resistance than PTFE, however have a higher mechanical performance. PTFE is only attacked by alkali metals. This vulnerability is used for gluing fluoropolymers. The mechanical properties of PPS are influenced by concentrated nitric acid and other oxidizing acids.

I hope you found this chemical resistance table useful and it can be helpful for you next part design or specification project.

Thank you for reading!
Till next time!
Herwig Juster

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