MATERIALS: SABIC Innovative Plastics‘ Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin offers the highest performance across a balance of properties of virtually any thermoplastic in the global plastics industry. This advanced PEI technology consistently gives manufacturers superior performance vs. competitive materials and easily meets global regulatory agency requirements for food contact, as well as UL 94 flammability ratings. As SABIC Innovative Plastics continues to deliver Ultem resin grades with enhanced performance characteristics —such as transparency, colorability and extreme high-heat performance —food service and food processing OEMs can rely on Ultem resin is a top choice for their specific new product requirements.
SABIC Innovative Plastics’ resins make it possible to redesign existing products with new colors and capabilities, or create entirely new designs.
- Extreme high-heat Extem resins: the world’s highest heat amorphous thermoplastic polyimide is now available in the food processing industry with new grades offering a powerful combination of outstanding elevated thermal resistance up to 267C Tg, that will comply with European Union (EU) and U.S. FDA food contact approvals in late 2010.
- Transparent, colorable Ultem 1000E resin: features fast mold release and FDA/NSF compliance. This grade delivers enhanced processability by reducing the time required to eject the tool by up to 60 percent and accelerating flow by up to 15 percent. It also maintains transparency and color at high temperatures up to 217C Tg. Key applications include food service pans, trays and utensils.
- Ultem resin blends: offer transparent and thin wall flow, while maintaining U.S. FDA and EU food contact compliancy along with NSF51 recognition. This lower temp alternative to Ultem 1000E resin is available in custom colors and offers value-balanced performance for key applications such as utensils, microwave cookware, and appliances.
The dependability and high performance of Ultem resins have been proven over two decades. The materials are renowned for high-temperature resistance, inherent flame retardance, dimensional stability, high strength and modulus, and broad chemical resistance.
In contrast to metal, Ultem resins are also lighter in weight, offer see-through transparency, can be microwaved and provide a cool exterior. Additionally, they provide expanded design freedom and eliminate secondary operations that are common with metals.
Ultem resins also provide system cost advantages because they enable thin-wall molding to reduce material usage as well as reducing rejects and accelerating cycle times.
Ultem resins provide high value to the food service and processing industry thanks to practical performance under demanding use conditions:
- Heat resistance for microwave cooking: Ultem resin retains its full strength, stiffness and dimensional stability under exposure to the high temperatures of microwave cooking.
- Stain resistance and ease of cleaning: Staining often leads to a perception of poor quality and sanitary concerns. By maintaining its attractive appearance even after exposure to oils, tomato sauce, mustard and other stain agents, and repeated automatic dishwasher cycles, Ultem resin provides longer-term customer satisfaction.
- Chemical resistance to foods and detergents: Ultem resin withstands extended exposure to various cleaning agents and food groups without crazing, cracking or losing its as-molded physical properties.
- Safety in handling: Ultem resin is cooler to the touch than metals, glass and most other plastics, and is not likely to chip or break as glass can.
Ultem resins are well suited to a wide variety of applications, including microwave cookware, kitchen utensils, steam table pans, commercial food trays, and industrial and home appliances such as coffee dispensers, steam ovens and fryers.
-Edited by Kelsey Anderson