Radel Plastic Material & Machining

Tough & stable material with excellent stress cracking resistance

Radel offers a long list of benefits drawn from its unique molecular structure. As a type of polyphenosulfone (PPSU), Radel's bisphenol-S and anhydride bonds give the material strong resistances to:

  • Impact 
  • Hydrolysis 
  • Combustion
  • Chemicals
  • Thermal

The material can withstand some high temperatures and high moisture environments without structural compromise. As is the case, it can handle a seemingly unlimited amount of steam sterilizations throughout its entire lifespan. For this reason, designers often choose Radel for medical devices and components fit for research and life sciences.

Watch the video below, and get to know Radel in under 1.5 minutes. Still have questions? Reach out to our team of experts!

Play Video

Is Radel right for your job?

Reach out today for a free, no obligation quote!

More about Radel Plastic Material & Machining

Key Facts About Radel

  • High impact resistance
  • Suitable for structural applications
  • Hydrolysis resistance
  • Excellent high temperature tolerance
  • Resistance to wide variety of chemicals
  • Combustion resistance
  • Great electrical insulation properties
  • Inherently transparent
  • Biocompatible & Sterilizable
  • USP Grade VI grades available

Properties & Characteristics

Radel offers a superior combination of high performance properties. With its excellent thermal stability, outstanding toughness, and good environmental stress cracking resistance, Radel often compares better than other high-performance materials, like ULTEM and Polysulfone.

photo of radel
Grade Product Characteristics Common Applications
Radel (R)Excellent thermal stability, good environmental stress cracking resistance, ability to tolerate unlimited steam sterilization cyclesMedical devices, surgical instruments, sterilization trays, electronic assembly equipment

Regarding temperature, Radel has a few different aspects worthy of note. Its high glass transition temperature (Tg) ranges between 200°-215°C (392°-419°F) with heat deflection to temperatures of 204°C (~400°F), making this a great choice for components and devices that plan to stay within harsh environments. Able to take the heat and keep its strength, it resists deformation and combustion that would otherwise compromise devices used particularly in structural functions.

When it comes to chemical resistance, Radel can hold against several different types that would otherwise deteriorate other materials. Highly resistant to acids, bases, and organic solvents, the material can handle aggressive chemical environments without much threat to its integrity. Additionally, it takes repeated sterilizations well, whether it's steam, gamma, or EtO. For that reason, designers in the medical and healthcare industry elect Radel for their components and devices.

Is Radel a fit for your project?

Reach out today for a free, no obligation quote!

radel bonded manifold

Aesthetics, Processing, & Applications

Radel commonly comes as an amber-colored transparent material, but it can come in other colors as well. Product designers can choose from bone white or black that are available in USP Grade VI, depending on the product's purpose and need for biocompatibility.

We should note that Radel tends to cost more and is known for being more challenging to machine than some other high-performance materials.

However, despite those disadvantages, it often proves itself worth the challenge. Some commonly found components often made from Radel are:

  • Medical devices (e.g instrument handles, probes)
  • Aircraft interior components
  • Automotive sensors
  • Electrical connectors

This does not encompass all of Radel's use cases. As it has many benefits, we have found that designers from seemingly unrelated industries use Radel for their components. For more information on price comparisons, please visit our comparison charts here.

Polishing Radel

Like ULTEM, polished Radel (PPSU) is dark amber in its natural color, and standard stock colors for polishing are white and black. Radel allows for seemingly unlimited steam sterilization, but other methods (including radiation, dry heat, and cold sterilization) are acceptable. As a result, polished Radel components are frequently used in medical devices for more than simply aesthetic reasons.

Radel responds well to vapor polishing and optical machining, and polished Radel components offer better impact and chemical resistance than ULTEM and polysulfone parts. However, clear Radel components do absorb light in the UV range and are unsuitable for those applications. Light transmittance for a 2mm thick clear sample is 80% with 3% haze.