Engineering and high performance polymers cover a wide spectrum of materials that are valued, amongst other things, for their temperature resistance, strength, dimensional stability and chemical resistance in many demanding applications. This new market report from Rapra, discusses their key performance properties, the trends in material developments, and their application in automotive, electrical & electronics, industrial, consumer products and other markets, including medical.
Engineering polymers have been commercially available for many decades and a number of new high performance materials have also been introduced onto the marketplace during the last twenty years or so. Polymer scientists continue to develop higher performance thermoplastics that can challenge traditional materials such as metal and thermosets. Indeed, the last five years have seen substantial growth in top of the range materials such as liquid crystal polymers and polyketones. There is no widely accepted industry definition of an engineering or high performance polymer.
However, these materials typically possess a range of desirable performance properties such as strength, temperature resistance and dimensional stability that are far superior to standard thermoplastics. There is inevitably an overlap between high-end engineering plastics and the lowend performance materials in terms of their property profile. As a general rule of thumb however, high performance plastics are considered to have a short-term heat resistance of 250 °C and longterm heat resistance of 160 °C.