DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide

DuPont™ Vespel® is Widely Used For:

  • Semiconductor and material handling machinery
  • Chip test sockets
  • Wafer clamping rings
  • Valve seats and sealing applications
  • Spline couplings
  • High performance bearings and bushings
  • Locking fasteners for aerospace
  • Pivot bushings on unison ring

Performance Characteristics:

  • Long term performance at temperatures
    up to 260°C (500°F)
  • Outstanding sealing characteristics when mated against metals
  • Excellent unlubricated bearing and wear properties (bearing grades)
  • Good electrical insulating properties
    (unfilled grades)

Common Brands:

  • DuPont™ Vespel®


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DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide

Extremely high temperature creep resistant plastic with excellent friction and wear characteristics

DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide is an extremely high temperature, creep resistant plastic material that is often used in high heat environments where thermoplastic materials lose their mechanical properties. Vespel®, a lightweight alternative to metal, is available in a variety of formulations including unfilled grades and several low friction and wear grades.

DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide is capable of operating in a wide temperature range from cryogenic to extremely high temperatures. It has a low and consistent thermal expansion coefficient and outstanding creep characteristics, which allows parts made from DuPont™ Vespel® shapes to be machined to tight dimensional tolerances. The ductility and outstanding creep and stress relaxation behavior of DuPont™ Vespel® make it an excellent choice for applications such as valve components where sealing is required.

The Vespel® SP Family grades are available in a number of formulations including an unfilled grade (Vespel® SP-1) as well as filled grades with enhanced mechanical properties, dimensional stability, and friction and wear performance.

The Vespel® SCP Family grades are stronger and stiffer and have superior long-term thermal stability compared with the SP grades.

Is DuPont™ Vespel® right for your demanding application? Our plastics experts can answer your questions and discuss material options.

Ask a Plastics Expert  or Get a Quote for Vespel® Sheet, Rod, or Fabricated Parts.

DuPont™ Vespel® Polyimide Properties and Options

 

DuPont™ Vespel® for Aerospace Applications

DuPont™ Vespel® has a been specified for critical-service aerospace applications for many decades. The key properties of DuPont™ Vespel® for aerospace components include the material’s ability to maintain moderate modulus and have low stress relaxation throughout a broad temperature range. Filled grades of DuPont™ Vespel® are formulated to have enhanced friction and wear performance when sliding friction is required in service.
 
Aerospace applications include:
  • Locking elements for fasteners
  • Valve seats and seals
  • Thermal isolators
  • Bearings
  • Bushings
  • Splines

DuPont™ Vespel® for Spacecraft DuPont™

Vespel® has been widely used for spacecraft applications since the early days of space exploration. DuPont™ Vespel® is often specified for insulators, seals, bearings, bushings, rollers, and slide pads that require reliable performance in extreme conditions. 

The key advantages of DuPont™ Vespel® for spacecraft applications include:

  • Grades available that have excellent friction and wear characteristics in vacuum
  • Maintains ductility and moderate modulus throughout a broad temperature range - from cryogenic to elevated temperatures
  • Excellent flammability characteristics
  • Good dimensional stability - low and consistent thermal expansion coefficient throughout a wide operating temperature range
  • Low outgassing

DuPont™ Vespel® for Semiconductor Machinery

DuPont™ Vespel® is used for a wide variety of semiconductor machinery applications including wafer handling, wafer processing, IC handling, and testing.

The key advantages of DuPont™ Vespel® for semiconductor manufacturing include:

  • Long wear life • Dimensional stability
  • Outstanding electrical properties
  • Chemical resistance • Easier to machine than ceramics
  • Able to operate reliably at temperatures up to 550 °F (or higher for short duration)
  • Clean operation, virtually no particulate shedding
  • Low outgassing

Semiconductor machinery applications include:

  • Spin chucks
  • Wafer clamping rings
  • Insulators • Bearings
  • Centering pins
  • Vacuum pads
  • Wafer guides
  • Vacuum tips
  • Die pickup collets •
  • Test sockets

DuPont™ Vespel® for Scientific Instrumentation

DuPont™ Vespel® is widely used for scientific instrumentation applications.

The key performance advantages of DuPont™ Vespel® for scientific equipment include:

  • Excellent sealing characteristics
  • Maintains ductility at cryogenic temperatures
  • Low outgassing
  • Gamma and electron beam radiation resistance
  • Wide operating temperature range
  • Grades available that have superior friction and wear performance
  • Low thermal conductivity

Dimensional stability Scientific instrumentation applications include:

  • Cryogenic thermal insulators
  • Bearings and bushings
  • Valve components
  • Ferrules
  • Electrical insulators
  • HPLC components
  • Components for accelerators

 

Typical Properties OF DuPont™ Vespel® SP Polyimide
      Vespel® SP
  ASTM
Method
Units SP-1
Unfilled
SP-21
15%
Graphite
SP-22
40%
Graphite
SP-211
15%
Graphite
and 10%
PTFE
SP-3
Vacuum
Bearing
Grade
Mechanical
Tensile strength
23°C (73°F)
D1708 / D638 MPa (kpsi) 86.2
(12.5)
65.5
(9.5)
51.7
(7.5)
44.8
(6.5)
56.5
(8.2)
Tensile strength
260°C (500°F)
D1708 / D638 MPa (kpsi) 41.4
(6.0)
37.9
(5.5)
23.4
(3.4)
24.1
(3.5)
 
Elongation at break
23°C (73°F)
D1708 / D638 % 7.5 4.5 3.0 3.5 4.0
Elongation at break
260°C (500°F)
D1708 / D638 % 6.0 3.0 2.0 3.0  
Flexural modulus
23°C (73°F)
D790 MPa (kpsi) 3,100
(450)
3,790
(550)
4,830
(700)
3,100
(450)
3,280
(475)
Flexural modulus
260°C (500°F)
D790 MPa (kpsi) 1,720
(250)
2,550
(370)
2,760
(400)
1,380
(200)
1,860
(270)
Compressive stress at
10% strain, 23°C (73°F)
D695 MPa (kpsi) 133
(19.3)
133
(19.3)
112
(16.3)
102
(14.8)
128
(18.5)
Deformation under
13.8 MPa (2,000 psi) load
D621 % 0.14 0.10 0.08 0.13 0.12
Friction              
Coefficient of friction at
PV = .875 MPa m/s
(25,000 psi-ft/min)*
    0.29 0.24 0.20 0.12 0.25
Coefficient of friction at 
PV = 3.5 MPa m/s
(25,000 psi-ft/min)*
      0.12 0.09 0.08 0.17
Static coefficient
of friction in air*
    0.35 0.30 0.27 0.20  
PV limit (unlubricated)**   MPa-m/s
(kpsi ft/min)
  12.3
(350)
12.3
(350)
3.5
(100)
 
Other Properties              
Coefficient of thermal
expansion
23–300°C (73–572°F)
E831 µm/m/K
(10-6 in/in-°F)
54 (30) 49 (27) 38 (21) 54 (30) 52 (29)
Hardness D785 Rockwell E 45–60 25–45 5–25 1–20 40–55
Water absorption
24 hr at 23°C (73°F)
D570 % 0.24 0.19 0.14 0.21 0.23

View Typical Properties for Vespel® SP-202 Conductive Grade

 

Typical Properties for DuPont™ Vespel® SCP Polyimide 
      Vespel® SCP
  ASTM
Method
Units SCP-5000
Unfilled
SCP-5009
Graphite
Filled
SCP-50094
Graphite
Bearing
Grade–
Low fill
SCP-5050
Graphite
Bearing
Grade–
High fill
Mechanical
Tensile strength
23°C (73°F)
D1708 / D638 MPa (kpsi) 163
(23.6)
116
(16.9)
124
(18.0)
72
(10.5)
Tensile strength
260°C (500°F)
D1708 / D638 MPa (kpsi) 62
(9)
57
(8.4)
55
(8.0)
39
(5.6)
Elongation at break
23°C (73°F)
D1708 / D638 % 7.5 3.0 4.3 2.5
Elongation at break
260°C (500°F)
D1708 / D638 % 49.0 9.7 13.0 5.3
Flexural modulus
23°C (73°F)
D790 MPa (kpsi) 5,760
(836)
6,231
(903)
6,360
(923)
7,790
(1130)
Flexural modulus
260°C (500°F)
D790 MPa (kpsi) 3,010
(436)
3,560
(516)
3,540
(514)
5,100
(740)
Compressive stress at
10% strain, 23°C (73°F)
D695 MPa (kpsi) 230
(33.4)
222
(32.2)
220
(31.9)
172
(25)
Deformation under
13.8 MPa (2,000 psi) load
D621 % 0.05 0.03 0.05 0.03
Friction            
Coefficient of friction at
PV = .875 MPa m/s
(25,000 psi-ft/min)*
    0.26 0.22 0.25 0.12
Coefficient of friction at 
PV = 3.5 MPa m/s
(25,000 psi-ft/min)*
    0.15 0.14 0.07 0.08
Static coefficient
of friction in air*
           
PV limit (unlubricated)**   MPa-m/s
(kpsi ft/min)
  25K/0.22
100K/0.14
17.5
(500)
 
Other Properties            
Coefficient of
thermal expansion
23–300°C (73–572°F)
E831 µm/m/K
(10-6 in/in-°F)
47 (26) 44 (24) 43 (24) 29 (16)
Hardness D785 Rockwell E 95 91 91 63
Water absorption
24 hr at 23°C (73°F)
D570 % 0.08 0.14 0.06 0.04

*Versus carbon steel, steady state, unlubricated, in air, thrust bearing. **PV limits for any material vary with different combinations of pressure and velocity as well as other conditions.

Explore the physical, mechanical, thermal, electrical, and optical properties of DuPont™ Vespel® polyimide.

Sort, compare, and find the plastic material suited for your application using our interactive properties table.

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