What are Ultra Polymers?

Spire® Ultra Polymers are ultra high-performance plastics that thrive in extreme environments. Key performance properties include superior chemical, thermal, creep, fatigue and wear resistance along with inherent flame retardant properties.

The Power of Choice

Solvay Specialty Polymers offers the industry's broadest selection of ultra high performance polymers:

KetaSpire® PEEK (polyetheretherketone) offers the best combination of fatigue resistance and chemical resistance, which is similar to PPS (polyphenylene sulfide). However, PEEK can operate at higher temperatures and retains its excellent mechanical properties at continuous-use temperatures up to 240 °C (464 °F), allowing it to replace metal in severe end-use environments. Glass fiber-reinforced and carbon fiber-reinforced grades provide a wide range of performance options.

AvaSpire® PAEK (polyaryletherketone) is a family of customizable high-performance polyketones tailored to fill cost and performance gaps between PEEK and other high-performance polymers. For example, ductility and toughness can be significantly improved versus comparable grades of PEEK, delivering 20% higher tensile elongation at yield and doubled tensile elongation at break values.

Torlon® PAI (polyamide-imide) offers unsurpassed wear resistance in both dry and lubricated environments. It retains its toughness, high strength and stiffness up to 275 °C (525 °F), making it the highest performing thermoplastic available. PAI also exhibits excellent chemical resistance including strong acids and most organics. High creep resistance and extremely low coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) provide excellent dimensional stability.

Levels of Performance

As plastic resins leave the chemical polymerization reactor in which they are formed, they are "neat" polymers, meaning they are essentially pure compounds and consist only of the molecules of the polymer produced. KetaSpire® PEEK, AvaSpire® PAEK and Torlon® PAI have useful properties in their neat form.

Comparison of neat polymers


Neat polymers can be compounded with additives to enhance their properties, thereby extending their performance capabilities. Typical additives include fillers, reinforcements, lubricants, colorants, stabilizers, flame retardants and impact modifiers.

Adding glass fiber and carbon fiber reinforcements to neat polymers significantly increases strength, making them suitable for structural applications. Wear properties are enhanced by adding carbon fiber and polymeric lubricants such as PTFE.

Comparison of neat and modified polymers


Making the Right Choice

We understand that choosing the right plastic for the job is no easy task. No matter how demanding your requirements, Solvay will work with you to determine the best plastic for your needs. Contact us today and you’ll be one step closer to making the right choice.