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Ultem Introduction

ULTEM® PEI Seamless Tube®
now available from Drake Plastics

Drake Plastic Ltd. Co. specializes in stock shapes of ultra-performance polymers Torlon PAI, PEEK, PEK (HT), PEKK, Ryton R-4 PPS and now Ultem 2300 and 2400 PEI.

Starting with the right size and shape based on final part geometry is critical when machining high performance plastic materials like Ultem 2300, 2400 or others. The benefit of Drake's extruded Seamless Tube over Rod is not just from saving the material from the ID, but also from avoiding the machining time and tooling wear- which can be a considerable cost, especially in drilling fiber reinforced materials like Ultem 2300 and 2400.

But the biggest advantage of Drake Seamless Tube is performance. The technical advantages of Seamless Tube include no seam, or weld line. It exhibits uniform flow through the cross section with the polymer and fiber orientation resembles a spring.

This fiber orientation results from the flow profile which is enabled by Drake Plastics' Seamless Tube extrusion technology. The fiber orientation results in high strength and stiffness in the hoop direction. Independent burst tests conducted by a Drake Plastics customer have consistently shown 30% Glass Fiber Reinforced Seamless Tube has twice the rupture strength of cylindrical parts machined from rod. This hoop strength advantage is a major benefit for parts under either internal or external pressure or loading. Another advantage is improved dimensional stability of precision machined parts. Because of the orientation of the fibers, the coefficient of thermal expansion of the OD and ID closely matches resin data sheet values (Resin data sheet CLTE values are reported in fiber flow direction which is much lower than crossflow). This can solve many fit and finish problems, especially in devices that are thermally cycled and housed in metal or incorporated in assemblies with metal parts.

Electrical bobbins, bushings, bearings, containment tubes, bearing cages, insulators and rollers all benefit from the hoop fiber orientation which is uniquely achieved in Drake Plastics' Seamless Tube.

Drake Plastics has made Ultem Seamless Tube available in several sizes to solve a specific customer problem, but there are countless other applications that can also benefit from it. Seamless Tube is a great way to 'lean out' a machined part process and improve performance at the same time. Drake has more than fifty OD/ ID Seamless Tube combinations available to order on a Made-to-Order basis. Our minimums are modest and will stock frequently requested sizes according to demand.

Consider Seamless Tube if your Ultem 2300 or 2400 parts have an ID and you need a production quantity of 25Kg or more. Machinists report better tolerance control especially roundness and concentricity when starting with Drake's Seamless Tube over both rod and plate. Machinists often report outer diameters 'shrinking' when cylindrical parts are machined from Rod. Starting with Seamless Tube and removing less supporting material from the interior cross section eliminates this problem, enhancing the dimensional stability of the final part and protecting from yield loss.

ULTEM 2300 is 30% Glass Fiber reinforced ULTEM PEI while ULTEM 2400 is 40% Glass reinforced. Both grades offer superior mechanical properties compared to unreinforced Ultem 1000 PEI. Stock shapes extruded from ULTEM 2300 and ULTEM 2400 offer outstanding elevated thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness, low moisture uptake and broad chemical resistance. Ultem 2300 and 2400 are also inherently flame resistant and low smoke generating. Machined parts are used in medical, aerospace, oil & gas, and chemical applications due to heat, solvent, and flame resistance. ULTEM 2300 and Ultem 2400 both offer high mechanical strength and perform in continuous use to 171°C. ULTEM 2300 uniquely balances both mechanical properties and processability, offering design engineers exceptional flexibility and freedom.

In addition to ULTEM 2300 and ULTEM 2400, Drake Plastics has the capability to extrude any Ultem PEI Grade on a Made-to-Order basis. We can produce just about any stock shape form we offer including very large Rod- up to 250 mm. Inquire with our Application Development Team to learn more: inquiries@drakeplastics.eu

Key Features of ULTEM 2300 PEI

  • Thermal Stability- Long term heat resistance
  • Outstanding strength and stiffness up to 199°C (Note Tg = 215°C)
  • CLTE of 19.8 ppm/°C
  • Exceptional long-term hydrolytic stability
  • Predictable dimensional stability
  • Environmental stress and crack resistance
  • Inherent flame resistance (V-0 rated)
  • High dielectric strength (35 kV/mm at 0.8 mm)
  • Excellent machinability

Typical Applications

  • Structural components that require strength and rigidity at elevated temperatures
  • Chemical processing components
  • Oil & Gas components beyond PEEK's thermal capability
  • Medical device components
  • Aircraft electrical and structural parts
  • Pump and Valve parts
  • Food processing equipment components
  • Torch insulators
  • Electrical insulators