Polyimide is a generic term to cover a large range of polymer based on imide monomers. Very high temperature resistance and thermal stability are typical of polyimide family. Polyimides are also naturally resistant to flame combustion.
With such a big scope, the polyimide family has strongly evolved since its beginning. While industrial production has existed since 1955, polyimide existed first as thermoset polymers, which degrade before melting. In the 80’s, a new thermoplastic polyimide was developed, leading to PEI especially (polyetherimide) and PAI (polyamideimide) production, with respective maximum operating temperature of 170°C and 200°C. PEI stays stiff at elevated temperatures and offers high creep resistance.
When selecting the right grade within the polyimide polymer, these materials can offer among the best available operating temperature, up to 400°C. Some grades can even reach among the lowest operating temperature for plastics, with -240°C.
Polyimide material is the best plastic for high operating temperature