Sulfone Polymers for Membranes

Proven Membrane Performance

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Solvay’s sulfone polymers have been used to make membranes for over 25 years. They are soluble in conventional processing solvents and used to make hollow fiber, flat sheet and tubular membranes. Low cyclic dimer grades improve the stability of dope solutions, reduce filter clogging, and minimize manufacturing defects.

These high-temperature thermoplastics impart high fiber strength, toughness, rigidity and hydrolytic stability. This, combined with their excellent chemical resistance, enables membranes to tolerate a variety of feed streams and cleaning methods.

Excellent chemical resistance combined with hydrolytic stability, high strength and the ability to operate over a broad pH range makes these polymers the right choice for membranes used in demanding end-use environments.

Key Features

  • Excellent mechanical properties
  • Outstanding hydrolytic stability
  • Stable at pH levels from 2 to 13
  • Excellent biocompatibility
  • Easy to form MF and UF membranes
  • Low level of insolubles and extractibles
  • Sterilizable by steam, ethylene oxide and gamma radiation
  • Global agency approvals

Membrane Grades

PelletsPowdersTypical Mol. Wt. [Mw (x103)]
Udel® PSU
polysulfone
P-1700 LCD 67–72
P-3500 LCD 75–81
Veradel® PESU
polyether-sulfone
 3000MP64–68
 3000P62–64
 3100P52–55
 3200P45–47
Radel® PPSU
polyphenylsulfone
R-5000 52–55
R-5500 55–59

Other grades are available upon request.

Sulfone Polymer Solutions

Udel® PSU

Udel® PSU (polysulfone) has been used successfully in a wide variety of membrane applications for over 25 years. It is the most cost-effective member of our sulfone polymers family and has become the industry standard in both reverse osmosis and hemodialysis membranes.

Typical Applications

  • Hemodialysis
  • RO/NF composite membrane support layer
  • Low pressure water filtration
  • Bioprocessing
  • Food and beverage
  • Gas separation
Key FeaturesKey Benefits
  • Excellent mechanical properties
  • Outstanding hydrolytic stability
  • Stable at pH levels from 2 to 13
  • Easy to form MF and UF membranes
  • Soluble in conventional processing solvents
  • Low level of cyclic dimer and higher oligomers
  • Low level of insolubles and extractibles
  • Excellent biocompatibility
  • Sterilizable by steam, ethylene oxide and gamma radiation
  • Global agency approvals for drinking water, food contact and healthcare applications
  • Membranes with high flux and tailored selectivity
  • Improved stability of dope solutions
  • Minimize fiber breakage
  • Reduce equipment clogging and fouling
  • Minimal manufacturing defects

Veradel® PESU

Veradel® PESU (polyethersulfone) offers many of the same features as Udel polysulfone with the added benefit of high heat resistance. This high-performance polymer can be used to make hollow fiber, tubular and flat sheet types of MF and UF membranes. Powder grades are available for ease of dissolution in conventional processing solvents.

Typical Applications

  • Low pressure water filtration
  • Food and beverage processing
  • Industrial filtration
Key FeaturesKey Benefits
  • Very high heat resistance
  • High mechanical strength and
  • creep resistance
  • Stable at pH levels from 2 to 13
  • Excellent hydrolytic stability
  • Good resistance to sodium hypochlorite
  • Global agency approvals
  • Suitable for higher temperature applications
  • Withstands aggressive cleaning programs
  • High membrane durability and long life

Radel® PPSU

Radel® PPSU (polyphenylsulfone) gives membranes an extra margin of toughness and chemical resistance. It offers the best chemical resistance of any sulfone polymer and can withstand over 1,000 cycles of steam sterilization.

Typical Applications

  • Bioprocessing
  • Food and beverage
  • Industrial

Physical Properties

Physical Properties
PropertyTest MethodUnitsUdel®
P-1700
LCD,
P-1800
Udel®
P-3500
LCD,
P-1835
Veradel®
3000P,
3100P,
3200P
Radel®
R-5000,
R-5500
Form  pellet, powderpellet, powderpowderpellet
DensityASTM
D 792
g/cm31.241.241.371.29
Molecular Weight,
Mw
GPCg/mol (x103)67-7275-8162-64, 52-55,
45-47
52-55, 55-59
PolydispersityGPC 3.53.63.2-3.92.6
Solution Viscosity
25% in DMAC
40°C, 30 s-1
 cp1,000-
1,800
1,800-
3,000
1,225-1,650,
700-900,
420-550
~2,200
Melt Flow IndexASTM D 1238g/10 min5.0-9.0(1)2.0-4.9(1) 14-20, 12-17(2)
Water Absorption
24 hours, 23°C
ASTM D 570%0.30.30.60.37

(1)Melt flow condition 343°C, 2.16 kg
(2)Melt flow condition 365°C, 5.0 kg

Mechanical Properties

Mechanical Properties 
PropertyTest MethodUnitsUdel®
P-1700
LCD,
P-1800
Udel®
P-3500
LCD,
P-1835
Veradel®
3000P,
3100P,
3200P
Radel®
R-5000,
R-5500
Tensile Strength
at Yield
ASTM
D 638
psi
MPa
10,200
70
10,200
70
12,900
90
10,100
70
Tensile ModulusASTM
D 638
kpsi
MPa
360
2,480
360
2,480
400
2,800
340
2,300
Tensile Elongation
at Yield
ASTM
D 638
%5.75.76.57.2
Tensile Elongation
at Break
ASTM
D 638
%50-10050-10030-6060-120
Flexural StrengthASTM
D 790
psi
MPa
15,400
106
15,400
106
17,500
121
15,200
105
Flexural ModulusASTM
D 790
kpsi
MPa
390
2,690
390
2,690
400
2,800
350
2,400

Thermal Properties

Thermal Properties
PropertyTest MethodUnitsUdel®
P-1700
LCD,
P-1800
Udel®
P-3500
LCD,
P-1835
Veradel®
3000P,
3100P,
3200P
Radel®
R-5000,
R-5500
Glass Transition
Temperature
ASTM
D 3418
°C190190220220
Heat Deflection
Temperature
264 psi (1.8 MPa)
ASTM
D 648
°C174174204207

Chemical Resistance

Chemical Resistance*
PropertyUdel®
P-1700
LCD,
P-1800
Udel®
P-3500
LCD,
P-1835
Veradel®
3000P,
3100P,
3200P
Radel®
R-5000,
R-5500
Hydrolytic Stability++++
Acids++++
Alkali++++
Aliphatic Hydrocarbons00++
Aromatic Hydrocarbons00
Aliphatic Alcohols00++
Chlorinated Hydrocarbons0
Dipolar Aprotic Solvents
Chlorine++++
Ozone++++
Sterilization by Gamma Rays++++
Sterilization by Steam++++

KEY

+ Polymer is resistant. Any increase in weight is less than 2% and any decrease in weight is less than 0.3%. The tensile yield strength is at least 85% of the initial value.
0 Use of polymer is limited. Response does not meet above criteria. For example, weight increase may be more than 2%. However, the polymer can be used if stress is low.
>– Polymer is not resistant. There is considerable alteration of the polymer, such as dissolution or chemical or physical degradation.

* Internal test method. Ratings give a general indication.

 

Chemical Resistance*
ReagentUdel® PSU
Veradel® PESU
Radel® PPSU
n-ButaneEEE
BenzeneSASAF
TolueneSASAF
EthanolGGE
Methyl Ethyl KetoneSASAE
1,1,1-TrichloroethaneSASAF
Carbon TetrachlorideGGG
Hydrochloric Acid, 20%EEE
Sodium Hydroxide, 10%EEE

KEY

E Excellent. No change.
G Good. Minor attack. No serious loss of properties.
F Fair. Some attack. Some useful properties remain.
SA Severe attack or rupture.

* Internal test method. Ratings give a general indication.

Solvents

Solvents*
Udel® PSUVeradel® PESURadel® PPSU
NMPNMPNMP
DMFDMFDMF
DMACDMACDMAC
PyrridinePyrridinePyrridine
2-Pyrrolidone  
Chloroform  
Methylene Chloride  
Tetrahydrofuran  

Abbreviations

NMP N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone
DMF N,N-Dimethyl Formamide
DMAC N,N-Dimethylacetamide


*Dissolves 10% (wt/wt) cold

Agency Approvals

Agency Approvals for Sulfone Polymers
 Udel® PSURadel® PPSU
Food Contact
FDAAll base resins comply
with 177.1655
All base resins comply with FCN #83
EC DirectiveAll base resins comply
with 90/128/EEC and its amendments
All base resins comply with 90/128/EEC and its amendments
NSF 51P-1700 NT 11
P-3703 NT
R-5000
Water Contact
NSF 61
85° C
P-1700 NT
P-1700 NT LCD
P-3500 NT LCD
P-3500 NT
R-5000 NT
WRc
85° C
P-1700 NT 11
P-3500 NT LCD
R-5000 NT
KTW
90° C
P-1700 NT 11
P-3500 NT 11
None

For further specifications and details regarding these agency approvals, please
contact your local sales representative.