PES (Radel A) Plastic Material & Machining

Versatile material with high resistance to heat & combustibility

PES/Radel A is a "powerhouse plastic" due to its remarkable strength, durability, light weight, and several other properties. As an amorphous, high-performance thermoplastic, it boasts a high resistance to heat, combustion, and many different types of chemicals.

It combines ether and sulfone in a polymer backbone to give it high tensile strength, stiffness, and dimensional stability. Its molecular structure also gives PES the ability to withstand harsh environments such as steam sterilization. Because of these qualities, designers and engineers often use PES for pumps, valves, medical devices, and several other applications.

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More about PES/Radel A Plastic Material & Machining

Key Facts About PES

  • Low smoke generation and flame resistant
  • Biocompatible grades available
  • Excellent electrical insultation
  • Transparent
  • Good chemical resistance
  • High temperature resistance (can withstand up to 300°C for short periods)
  • Lightweight
  • Extremely durable
radel bonded manifold
Grade Product Characteristics Common Applications
PES (Radel A)Heat and smoke resistance, chemical resistance, good dimensional stabilityMedical devices, research devices, aerospace components

Properties & Characteristics

Due to the makeup of this polymer, it can withstand several types of harsh environments while still keeping its structural integrity. In terms of temperature, it can withstand more extremes than some other plastic materials. It can withstand temperatures as high as 300°C (572°F) for short periods before degrading. Normal continuous service range lands between 176°C and 200°C (350-392°F, respectively), which holds longer if polished. it It can keep its great strength and stability under load despite the high operating temperature without deforming. This material also exhibits a high limiting oxygen index (LOI) that makes it difficult for the material to ignite. In the rare event that happens, designers also note its self-extinguishing abilities once removed from an igniting source.

Additionally, PES/Radel A holds a relatively high resistance to several types of chemicals while still remaining stable. It has a high resistance to non-polar organic solvents as well as acids, bases, alcohols, bleach, and salts. For this reason, many in the medical industry build components from this material as there are some grades that are biocompatible. For more on chemical resistance, visit our chart here.

Applications & Uses

From the previously mentioned characteristics, designers from many different industries elect to use PES in their components. Those in electronics, for example, take advantage of PES's electrical insulation qualities to build components suitable for their needs. Its transparency also marks as an attractive quality to those in aerospace, food processing, and medical where inspections (among other operations) would consider this as a need.

Common PES applications:

  • Pumps
  • Valves
  • Research components
  • Medical devices

However, PES has a versatile range of uses not limited to these industries only. Although this material might prove more expensive than other materials, when structural integrity and longevity matter despite harsh environ ments, PES operates at a level unmatched.

Like ULTEM and PPSU, polished PES is dark amber in its natural color. Vapor polishing and optical machining can achieve excellent results for this material in adding higher heat resistance and electrical insulation. Polished PES has an excellent flame resistance of UL 94 V-O and has a continuous service temperature of 176°C (~350°F). Along with the material’s good dielectric constant, low loss factor, and high resistivity at temperatures above 200°C (392°F), these properties make PES an excellent high-temperature electrical insulating material.