Ultem PEI compounded with aerospace grade carbon fiber

SABIC Innovative Plastics has introduced a new high-performance compound based on aerospace carbon fiber technology coupled with Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin.

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SABIC Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, Mass., USA) has introduced a new high-performance compound based on aerospace carbon fiber technology coupled with Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin, designed to replace heavier airline-grade die-cast and machined aluminum for aircraft interior components. Vaupell, a global contract manufacturer of custom injection-molded components and assemblies, is working with SABIC Innovative Plastics to validate the new Ultem resin materials in aircraft tray table arm components. Vaupell’s concept parts indicate 50 percent weight savings and up to 40 percent improved strength vs. die cast aluminum. The carbon fiber Ultem composite complies with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flammability FAR 25.853, smoke density and heat release requirements for OSU 65/65. In addition to tray table arms, potential applications for the new grades include armrests, footrests and galley items such as coffee maker chassis. Vaupell will conduct further load capability testing and fatigue testing later this year. SABIC has developed a family of carbon fiber Ultem composites with varying fiber content to address specific demands for top-end performance properties. Aerospace grade carbon fibers provide outstanding tensile strength of 38.3 psi vs. die cast aluminum grade 2024-0 (27 psi) and machined (tempered) aluminum grade 7075-0 (33.1 psi). Continuous long fibers provide exceptional stiffness and impact resistance. The material can be injection molded or extruded, and is receptive to powder coating, painting or plating.
 

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