Foam has light weight needed for aircraft composite structures.

Press Release Summary:

Optimized for weight and flame, smoke, toxicity (FST) performance, Ultem foam is suited for use as core material for aircraft composite skin/core/skin structures. It is based on Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin and demonstrates noise reduction coefficients greater than 0.3. Offered in 3.8, 5, and 6.9 lb/ft³ densities, foam boards are suitable for composite manufacturing processes and compatible with metals and thermoset laminate materials.

Original Press Release:

SABIC Innovative Plastics' Ultem* Foam Offers Lower Weight and Unmatched FST Performance to Aircraft Interiors

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Sept. 15, 2008 - In the quest to reduce fuel costs, airlines are scrutinizing every component of a plane for potential weight reduction. Now, with today's launch of Ultem* foam from SABIC Innovative Plastics, aircraft designers can leverage the best-in-class flame, smoke, toxicity (FST) performance of Ultem polyetherimide resin in a new product that is 10 - 20 times lighter than traditional plastic components. Ultem foam is an ideal core material for composite structures such as luggage bins, galleys and lower wall panels (also known as dado panels). The development of Ultem foam demonstrates the company's global leadership in engineering thermoplastics, strong market insight and long history of breakthrough ideas.

"As a longstanding supplier to the aircraft industry, SABIC Innovative Plastics continues to invest in helping customers succeed by developing new and innovative solutions for improved weight-out and FST performance," said Randall Myers, program manager for High Performance Foam, SABIC Innovative Plastics. "Ultem foam is an exceptionally lightweight material with a host of other desirable properties, engineered with our customers' requirements in mind. We expect it to make a significant contribution to overall fuel efficiency and to play an increasingly important role in the design of aircraft interiors."

A Better Core Material Choice, Available in a Range of Densities

Ultem foam is based on Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin and has a density of 10 to 30 times less than the traditional resin. It exhibits the outstanding FST performance of Ultem resin with the light weight needed for aircraft composite skin/core/skin structures. The product line is being introduced in three densities: Ultem XP060 foam is 60 kg/m3 (3.8 lb/ft3); Ultem XP080 foam is 80 kg/m3 (5lb/ft3); and Ultem XP110 foam is 110 kg/m3 (6.9 lb/ft3).

All three grades will be manufactured as foam boards by SABIC Innovative Plastics for global customers. The boards are suitable for a number of composite manufacturing processes including machining, vacuum bagging, compression molding, and thermoforming. Ultem foam is compatible with metals and thermoset laminate materials, potentially eliminating adhesives and other secondary operations that are common to the aircraft industry.

The new Ultem foam meets Ohio State University (OSU) performance levels below 50/50, as well as offering excellent acoustic, dielectric and thermal properties. It has demonstrated noise reduction coefficients of greater than 0.3 and it also features low moisture absorption, which may eliminate edge filling in some interior applications. This eliminates secondary operations and further reduces weight, which is an important benefit in the aerospace industry where every kilogram of weight savings can add up to thousands of dollars in fuel savings.

For additional information on SABIC Innovative Plastics' Ultem foam, please go to

About SABIC Innovative Plastics

SABIC Innovative Plastics is a leading, global supplier of engineering thermoplastics with a 75-year history of breakthrough solutions that solve its customers' most pressing challenges. Today, SABIC Innovative Plastics is a multi-billion-dollar company with operations in more than 25 countries and over 10,500 employees worldwide. The company continues to lead the plastics industry with customer collaboration and continued investments in new polymer technologies, global application development, process technologies, and environmentally responsible solutions that serve diverse markets such as automotive, electronics, building & construction, transportation, and healthcare. The company's extensive product portfolio includes thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film, and sheet. SABIC Innovative Plastics ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the world's top five petrochemicals manufacturers.

* Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV.

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