Polysulphone 2016-12-06T05:35:24+00:00



Much early space-age work in the 1960s was aimed at the development of thermoplastic polymers which could be processed conveniently and produce components with some of the properties of reinforced thermoset plastics.

Synthetic routes to polysulphones were found independently by workers in 3Ms and Union Carbide in the USA and the Plastics Division of ICI in the UK. Polymer syntheses are complex and varied. Early methods included reaction of a dihaloaryl compound with an alkali metal diphenoxide and also polysulphonylation processes using selected solvents and catalysts.

Poly(phenylene sulphone) itself decomposes before melting above 500°C but the introduction of aryl-ether linkages in the polymer reduces the softening temperature so that the material can more easily be moulded.

The range of variants now available, filled and unfilled, offers a choice of designed high performance products with many superior long term properties. As a class polysulphones are very stable chemically and mechanically and have excellent thermal, electrical and creep resistant properties over a wide temperature range. Weathering is poor but can be improved greatly with selected pigments. The poly(ether sulphones) have better stress crack resistance than poly(phenylene sulphone). With reinforcing fibres, such as glass and carbon, very demanding applications can be met such as continuous performance under stress above 200°C.

The advantages of this polymer family have been seen in aerospace, automotive, electrical and lighting systems, business machines and other demanding conditions of sustained durability.