PEI Plastic Machining

Your guide to PEI Plastic Machining

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High performance amorphous thermoplastic

Typically transparent amber in colour

Commonly used for structural components requiring high strength and rigidity at elevated temperatures

PEI is a high performance thermoplastic with high mechanical strength and broad chemical resistance.

You may want to consider PSU (Polysulfone) as an alternative high performance thermoplastic which has similar characteristics but is cheaper and more readily available.

This guide will take you through the main attributes of PEI, common applications, notes for designers and suitable finishing and treatments, as well as UK stock sizes and property tables. Don't forget to bookmark the page so you can refer back later.

If you are interested in PEI machined parts, please scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about our service and to request a quote.

PEI Guide: Properties, Applications and Design Considerations

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What is PEI?
 

PEI (Polyetherimide) is a high performance amorphous thermoplastic which is typically transparent amber in colour.

PEI plastic is commonly used for structural components requiring high strength and rigidity at elevated temperatures as well as broad chemical resistance.

Please see our PSU (Polysulfone) page for an alternative high performance thermoplastic which has similar characteristics but is cheaper and more readily available.

How PEI is machined will depend on whether it is an unfilled or glass-filled grade being used.

The unfilled can be machined with standard high speed steel cutting tools, the reinforced grade will require hard metal tools. Penta Precision has plenty of experience machining high performance engineering plastics and we will use the correct tools, speeds and feeds for the job.

Water soluble, non-aromatic coolant needs to be used in order to avoid stress cracking. 

You may also see PEI referred to as:

  • TECAPEI®
  • Ultem® / Ultem 1000
  • Duratron® PEI
  • SUSTAPEI
 

Industry Examples: Instrumentation | Electrical/Electronics | Food technology | Aerospace | Medical | Pharmaceutical | Automotive | Telecommunications

 

Typical Components & Applications: Reusable medical devices | Electrical/electronic insulators | Manifolds | Surgical probes | Clamps | Radomes | Thermostat housings | Bezels | Reflectors | Lamp sockets | Fuses | Gears | Bearings | Switches | Connectors

 
Main Attributes:
  • High mechanical strength
  • High rigidity
  • Very good dimensional stability
  • Relatively high long term service temperature
  • Flame resistant
  • Good chemical resistance
  • Excellent electrical properties
  • High strength to weight ratio
  • Glass-filled grade available
  • Low thermal conductivity
  • Highest dielectric strength of any thermoplastic
  • Transparent amber
  • High tensile strength
  • Semi transparent
  • Good UV resistance and weatherability
  • Most grades suitable for use with food
  • Can withstand dry heat sterilisation at 180°C, ethylene oxide gas and gamma radiation

Note For Designers:

The cost of PEI is higher than conventional engineering plastics and therefore is advised to only be used where the properties are required, i.e. highly demanding applications.
 

We prefer to work with the cheaper and more readily available Polysulfone (PSU) which has similar characteristics.

Can we meet your PEI plastic machining needs? Contact us now
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CNC Machining Changing Supplier Guide



PEI Plastic Machined Parts

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Penta Precision provides the following plastic PEI machining services: 
  • CNC milling
  • CNC turning
  • Prototypes and batch runs
  • Insert installation
  • Part marking
  • Manual milling
  • Manual turning
  • Machining design advice
  • Design for manufacture service

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