The Advanced Industrial Plastics Hall of Fame

carbon peek material properties

When it comes to advanced industrial plastics, there are five that stand out above the rest: Nylon, PTFE, PEEK, Ultem®, and Vespel®. These plastics are revolutionizing industries thanks to their unique properties and wide range of applications. Here’s why these advanced industrial plastics are ahead of the pack:


Nylon is a thermoplastic that enjoys a wide range of uses, thanks to its strength, temperature resilience, and chemical compatibility. From durable fabrics (such as tents and parachutes) to engine parts and electrical equipment, Nylon can be found in many consumer goods. In engineering applications, it is becoming a popular replacement for steel, bronze, aluminum, brass, rubber, and wood. This relatively lightweight material can be machined into highly precise parts. Nylon also offers:


More commonly known as Teflon, PTFE is an extremely versatile material with a range of applications that spans nearly every industry. Pure PTFE is almost totally chemically inert and highly insoluble in most solvents or chemicals, making it the perfect material to store or handle corrosive chemicals. It also has one of the lowest coefficients of friction against known solids and is hydrophobic, a combination that makes it perfect for high-friction mechanical parts such as screws and bearings. PTFE also has:


PEEK is a semi-crystalline organic thermoplastic polymer whose highly stable chemical structure gives it an advantage over other materials. PEEK’s unique combination of properties makes it an incredibly strong plastic that will remain dimensionally stable under load and in the harshest environments. While PEEK’s high temperature resistance can make it difficult to process, in its solid state PEEK is readily machinable by CNC milling machines. It is also available in a variety of grades that offer targeted enhanced properties. PEEK’s outstanding properties include:


Ultem® (polyetherimide or PEI) is a high performance polymer that offers high strength and rigidity at elevated temperatures as well as long-term heat resistance. Ultem is resistant to hot water and steam, making it perfect for medical use as it can withstand repeated sterilization in a steam autoclave. Other benefits include:


Vespel® is a range of high performance polyimide-based plastics that are used for the toughest sealing, wear or friction applications. From bearings to critical aircraft parts, Vespel® can withstand the harshest operating conditions on the planet, thanks to its advanced properties:

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