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First-generation PEI films target electronics industry

GE Advanced Materials : 02 April, 2004  (New Product)
Polyetherimide (PEI) films are characterised by their excellent temperature and electrical property performance. GE has stated that the materials are the first in a line of new PEI films based on the X GEN resin technology.
GE Advanced Materials has introduced Ultem 1000B, Ultem 5000B, and Ultem EXSP0023 films. This new family of products is based on the company’s X GEN resin technology, a recently launched resin portfolio that pushes high-end polymer performance to even greater levels. The polyetherimide (PEI) films are characterised by their excellent temperature and electrical property performance. The company has stated that the materials are the first in a line of new PEI films based on the X GEN resin technology.

The new Ultem films offer high performance across a broad range of demanding applications, bridging the gap between lower performing and more costly materials. They are generally well suited for use in various electronics applications where superior performance, economics, and durability are required.

The PEI films are targeted at several industries where GE Advanced Materials sees promising penetration and growth for the products, particularly the global electronics industry. Flexible circuits, for example, is an area where GE predicts strong growth during the next three-to-five years and where – because of the thermoplastic self-sealing properties of the new products – there is potential to eliminate the use of adhesives. With other strong and accelerating drivers such as component miniaturisation, moulding in increasingly thinner walls, higher heat requirements, and OEM demand for higher quality film technologies, applications for the new films in mobile phones, lap-top computers, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other electronic devices are expected to increase, as well.

“The global fit for these new products is very broad,” said Nick Abbatiello, GE Advanced Materials industry manager, Global Marketing. “They cut across a wide swath of applications where exceptional properties – especially superior high-heat and electrical performance – are key. We’re looking at everything from the electronics and electrical industries to healthcare, automotive, and others where a balanced cost-performance alternative to polyimide (PI) film is needed.”

According to Abbatiello, other potential applications for the new PEI films include bar code labels, flexible heaters, stiffeners, insulative tapes, motor insulation, speaker cones, wire wrapping, and a wide array of thermoformable products.

“We can’t overemphasize how pleased we are to be able to offer these new films to our customers,” said Ed Martin, GE Advanced Materials market director for Consumer Electronics, Portables & Displays. “They represent a value-added technology that the marketplace has been demanding for quite some time.”

Ultem EXSP0023 film offers the highest heat performance of the three new grades. With a glass-transition temperature (Tg) of 245C, it also has a dielectric strength of 4700V/mil and good tear resistance. It is heat-sealable and offers good overall adhesion to most metals. This product also provides excellent chemical resistance and a low dielectric constant of 2.9 when tested at 10GHz.

ULTEM 5000B film is the second of the three new materials in high-heat performance, with a Tg of 225C. In addition, it offers exceptional tear strength and a dielectric strength of 5,300 volts/mil. Its dielectric constant is 3.3, with a dissipation factor of 0.006. This new film is also heat sealable, provides good adhesion to most metals, and is highly resistant to chemicals.

Also offering good metal adhesion and chemical resistance, ULTEM 1000B film provides good high-heat capabilities, with a Tg of 217C. This product also features good dielectric properties and excellent tear strength, with a dissipation factor of 0.005.

ULTEM 1000B, 5000B, and EXSP0023 films are commercially available from GE Advanced Materials in thicknesses from 50 microns (2 mil) to 700 microns (28 mil) and in widths up to 48 inches.
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