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Performance Engineering Plastics

Materials Overview

Advantageous Performance & Value

Performance engineering plastics (PEP) have properties enabling performance in applications beyond that of even engineering plastics. PEPs have continuous service temperatures of >200°C, are stronger and harder, and are more chemically stable than other engineering plastics. These enhanced capabilities come with a higher price.

Chemistries include polyimide (PI), polyamide-imide (PAI), polyether-imide (PEI) and POM, augmented with additions of carbon-fibre, glass-fibre, graphite, PTFE and others. Glass-fibre reinforcement increases strength and results in an insulative product whereas additions of carbon-fibre create a conductive product.

Material Description Hardness ESD Surface Resistance (Ω) Service Temperatures (Deg C)
Torlon 4435
Rockwell M106, E62 Static Dissipative
(E6 to E9)
Torlon 4301 (PAI) Rockwell
E70 - 72
Insulative (>E10) 279
Torlon 5030 (PAI) Rockwell
E90 - 94
Insulative (>E10) 278
Torlon 7130 (PAI) Rockwell
E91 - 94
Conductive (< E5) 282
SCP5050 (PI)
Rockwell E63 Conductive (< E5) 300
Vespel SP-21 (PI) Rockwell
Insulative (>E10) 310
Vespel SP-1 (PI) Rockwell
Insulative (>E10) 300
ESD Semitron 520 Rockwell M110, E73 Static Dissipative
(E10 to E12)
ESD Semitron 420 Rockwell M118 Static Dissipative
(E6 to E9)
ESD Semitron 410C Rockwell M115 Static Dissipative
(E4 to E6)
ESD Semitron 225 Rockwell M106 Static Dissipative
(E9 - E10)

Torlon® / PAI

Torlon® grades are polyamide-imide (PAI) polymers and are recognised for being one of the highest performing PAI plastics.

Torlon 4301

Torlon 4301 is designed for high wear applications that operate in high temperature environments. This grade has a maximum operating temperature of 260°C and is suitable Pick Up Tools that are used in a high UPH environment with high rate of expected wear. The cost effective nature of this grade as compared to other similar materials from the Polyimide family make this material a popular choice if no ESD protection is required.

Torlon 5030

This grade is designed for high strength rather than high wear applications, which is reflected in its having higher hardness than the previous two grades discussed. This high strength is imparted through the addition of 30% glass fibre filler and is retained at high temperatures. This grade is suitable for us in applications such as Burn-In sockets.

Torlon 7130

This grade is also designed for high strength applications, with the addition of 30% carbon fibre filler. Again, this is seen in the high hardness value for this grade, having one of the highest hardnesses of all the performance engineering plastics. Torlon® 7130 has higher stiffness than even the 5030 grade and finds application as a replacement for metal. This grade has higher fatigue strength (resistance to cyclic stresses) than all other Torlon® grades, as well as competitor materials.


PAI ESD-P is a polyamide-imide (PAI) polymer with compounded additions of graphite, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), mica and carbon fibre which give it low friction and increased wear resistance compared to other PAI grades. These properties make it ideal for high wear, high temperature applications that requires certain Static Dissipative properties. This makes it unique among the other PAI grades considered here. It has a slightly lower hardness than other PAI grades, and very similar thermal characteristics.

Vespel / PI

 All Vespel® grades are manufactured by DuPont and are polyimide (PI) polymers. PI polymers are usually used for tools that operate in high temperature environments (>250°C with frequent excursions to temperatures above 350°C) with a high expected rate of wear or long interval between tool changes.

Vespel SP-1

SP-1 is an unfilled PI polymer, with identical deflection temperature to SP-21 but with higher values of hardness. The deflection temperature (of 360°C) corresponds to an operating temperature of up to 300°C with excursion temperatures of up to 400°C.  Among high performance engineering plastics, this is one of the grades that offer a high operating temperature range. These grades find uses in many of the same applications as the Torlon® grades, such as Wafer Guides, Pick Up Tools and Test Sockets.

Vespel SP-21

SP-21 is a graphite-filled PI polymer, again with excellent high temperature properties indicated by a deflection temperature higher than most other performance engineering plastics. As compared to SP-1, SP-21 has a higher level of wear resistance attributable to the additional 15% graphite added to the compound. However, SP-21 has the lowest hardness out of all Vespel® grades which makes it suitable for applications that would prefer a lower level of hardness for the contact point with the wafer, die or package. This grade also does not possess any Static Dissipative properties.

Vespel SCP5050

Vespel® SCP5050 is a also graphite filled PI polymer. It has excellent high temperature properties and a surface resistivity (4.1E5), close to the dissipative region. The resistivity range is potentially sufficient to slow down any static discharge, produce smaller currents and therefore protect sensitive dies and packages. Since PI grades that offer full Static Dissipative properties are rare, Vespel SCP5050 is the go-to grade if E5 resistivity is sufficient for your application.


The Semitron® ESD line of products was designed for static dissipation, where electrical discharge in the application is a problem. They are commonly used for tools and components that handles dies, devices, packages and circuit boards. Semitron materials have inherent Static Dissipative properties that does not require the use of any coating or activator to take effect.

ESD Semitron 520

Semitron® 520 is an unfilled PAI polymer. No additions of carbon or metals are used to achieve its static dissipative properties. Its PAI chemistry give it excellent resistance to heat and a relatively high hardness. This grade has the highest heat resistance of all the Semitron® grades. The one particular advantage of this grade is its ability to resist dielectric breakdown at high voltages. Electric resistivity is voltage dependent. Semitron® 520 remains dissipative in the 100-1000V range.

ESD Semitron 420

Semitron® 420 is a static dissipative PEI (polyetherimide) polymer. Its mechanical properties are not as resistant to temperature as Semitron® 520, but its PEI chemistry (rather than PAI) means it will also be relatively cheaper. It is also more conductive than Semitron® 520, with the 520 grade verging on being an insulator. This means Semitron® 420 will more readily dissipate charge thanSemitron® 520. Semitron® 420 is the hardest of all the Semitron® grades considered here.

ESD Semitron 410C

Like Semitron® 420, Semitron® 410C is also a static dissipative PEI polymer and therefore shares much of the same characteristics, including similar hardness and resistance to temperature. Semitron® 420 is the slightly harder grade (with Rockwell M118 vs. M115). The long term maximum service temperature of Semitron 410C is up to 170°C with short-term excursions of up to 200°C.   Where the two grades mainly differ is in the range in which they are dissipative. The 420 grade is slightly more insulative and the 410C grade is relatively more conductive. This means 410C will dissipate charge even more readily than Semitron® 420.

ESD Semitron 225

Semitron® 225 is a static dissipative POM polymer. This means it will be relatively cheaper than other chemistries of Semitron, but with correspondingly lower mechanical and thermal properties. It has the lowest hardness and service temperature of all the Semitron® grades in our line-up. It is also less hard than Torlon® grades but is of comparable hardness to Vespel® grades. It is designed for use in material handling operations, in particular the handling of wafers and dies.



High Wear
& High Temp
  • Carbide, K15
  • Carbide, K30
  • Carbide, M30
  • Carbide K40
  • Carbide, MG30


  • Haynes 25 (L605)
  • Inconel Alloy 625
  • Inconel Alloy 718
  • Incoloy Alloy 925
  • Nitronic 50
  • Nitronic 60
  • Titanium Grade 2
  • Stellite 6
  • Stellite 31


  • 15-5 PH
  • 17-4PH
  • SUS 430F
  • SUS 420
  • SUS 440C
  • SUS 316
  • SUS 301
  • SUS 304
  • SUS 303
Tool Steel


  • CPM-10V
  • SKD 11
  • SKH 51
  • Mirrax 40
  • ASP 23
  • Stavax
  • XW 10
  • XW 42
  • Assab 718 - HH
  • Assab 718 - HH
  • HSS
  • DF2
  • DF3
  • Ramax HH
  • Rochling 2315
Non Ferrous


  • Aluminium 7075
  • Aluminium 6061
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Hovadur K350


& Value
  • Torlon 4432 (PAI)
  • Torlon 4301 (PAI)
  • Torlon 5030 (PAI)
  • Torion 7130 (PAI)
  • Vespel SCP5050 (P)
  • Vespel SP 21 (PD)
  • Vespel SP1 (PI)
  • ESD Semitron 520
  • ESD Semitron 420
  • ESD Semitron 410C
  • ESD Semitron 225


And Versatile
  • Acrylic/ Polycarbonate
  • Delrin ESD
  • Delrin White
  • Delrin Black
  • POM
  • PEEK
  • PEEK GF 30%
  • PEEK CF 30%


ESD Protection
  • NBR
  • NBR (Soft)
  • NBR (Hard)
  • NBR (Coated)
  • HPR
  • HPR (Soft)
  • HPR (Hard)
  • UPR
  • CR (ESD)
  • CR