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Particle Foam Based on Polyethersulfone

Prototypes with Unique Combination of Properties

The expandable PESU granulate is pre-foamed into beads with low densities between 40 and 120 g/L and can be processed into molded parts with complex 3D geometries using technologies available on the market (© BASF)

After two years of research, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, is presenting prototypes of the first particle foam based on polyethersulfone (PESU). The foam is characterized by its combination of properties: high-temperature resistance, inherent flame retardancy - and its extreme light weight coupled with great stiffness and strength, according to BASF. It is therefore particularly well suited for complex-shaped components in cars, airplanes and trains, which require good mechanical properties together with the ability to withstand high operating temperatures or to meet stringent flame-retardant requirements.

Ultrason E, the PESU of BASF, is an amorphous thermoplastic with a very good temperature profile: It has a high glass transition temperature of 225°C and remains dimensionally stable up to this temperature. Its mechanical and dielectric properties should show only a slightly dependence on the temperature. Foams made of this PESU are approved for use in aircraft. The material, with its high limiting oxygen index of 38 (according to ASTM D 2863), distinguishes itself because it meets the requirements for commercial aircraft with regard to combustibility, low heat release and low smoke density (“fire, smoke, toxicity”) even without the addition of flame retardants, which means it is intrinsically flame retardant.

Fewer Processing Steps, Greater Freedom in Design

Despite its low density the PESU particle foam thus enables stiff and strong components with good excellent dimensional stability at high temperatures. Expanded molded parts made from one single material offer several advantages compared to traditional honeycomb structures coated with phenolic resins: They offer considerable flexibility in terms of densities and shapes and therefore greater freedom in design. There are fewer processing steps and therefore lower system costs. Additional functional parts such as inserts and screw threads can be integrated in the complex geometries. And, according to BASF, recycling of the parts can easily be carried out as the polymer is of one single origin.

Additional information
  • 09-18-2018

    New Managing Director for Bahrain

    BASF Plastic Additives Middle East

    BASF Plastic Additives Middle East (PAME) named Michael Wille its new Managing Director.   more

  • Published in Kunststoffe international 2018/09

    Foam for Thin and Light Instrument Panels

    Light Components for Automobile Interiors

    The thin-light system Elastoflex E from BASF can be used for components with a much smaller profile of less than 5 mm.   more


  • Published in Kunststoffe international 2018/05

    Styropor P 24 Speed

    Packaging with High-Speed

    BASF introduces the new packaging product Styropor P 24 Speed with reduced molding cycle and conditioning times.   more


Company profile

BASF Aktiengesellschaft

Carl-Bosch-Str. 38
DE 67056 Ludwigshafen
Tel.: 0621 60-42006
Fax: 0621 6049396

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