WEB EXCLUSIVE: New tests results published by SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., show that its Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin resists hydrogen peroxide gas plasma sterilization better than polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), another amorphous high-temperature engineering thermoplastic.

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Ultem HU1004 shows negligible color shift after 300 cycles of Sterrad NX sterilization, unlike PPSU.

Ultem HU1004 (top row) shows almost no color change from 100 to 300 Sterrad NX cycles, while PPSU shows yellowing as early as 100 cycles.

WEB EXCLUSIVE: New tests results published by SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., show that its Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin resists hydrogen peroxide gas plasma sterilization better than polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), another amorphous high-temperature engineering thermoplastic. SABIC sources close to the healthcare market see a swell of interest in this newer sterilization technique—known commercially as Sterrad NX, a tradename of Advanced Sterilization Products—because it is a dry, low-heat process that can sterilize sensitive electrosurgical devices such as cameras. Tests at SPS Medical, an independent lab in Rush, N.Y., showed that PPSU became both significantly yellowed and brittle after only 150 Sterrad NX cycles, while Ultem HU1004 resin showed negligible yellowing or embrittlement after 300 cycles.