High-Heat Performance and Thin-Gauge Availability Make PEEK Film More Cost-Effective than Polyimide Film

NEWARK, Del., December 10, 2013– Wisdom Audio, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance planar magnetic transducers for architectural speaker applications, uses KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) film produced by Ajedium™ Films, a Solvay Specialty Polymers business, for the construction of a laminated diaphragm for its new advanced L8i model in-wall loudspeaker system. The super-thin film provides durability, strength, and high heat resistance in a high-performance laminate which also consists of aluminum foil and a proprietary adhesive.

Wisdom Audio systems employ proprietary, custom-made planar magnetic and dynamic transducers optimized for high performance, including high-end architectural audio reproduction applications. The company’s L8i modelis among the new Insight Series models which incorporate both newly developed planar magnetic thin-film drivers and moving coil woofers. 

Ajedium™ Films specializes in advanced technologies to produce extraordinarily thin, high-quality films – as thin as five microns – in a cost-effective manner. The process requires high-purity resins like KetaSpire® PEEK, an ultra-high performance polymer from Solvay Specialty Polymers that delivers exceptional heat performance, strength, and durability as a replacement for polyimides.

Wisdom Audio is investigating the potential use of KetaSpire® PEEK as a replacement for traditional materials such as polyimide-based systems for all diaphragms used in its loudspeaker line, said David Graebener, senior vice president of research and development for Wisdom Audio.

“Solvay and Ajedium met the cost/performance challenge because KetaSpire® PEEK satisfies our strength and thermal requirements and provides an unprecedented cost benefit and improved productivity compared to polyimides,” explained Graebener.

Ajedium™ Films supplies KetaSpire® PEEK film in thicknesses ranging from 12 microns to 40 mil for speaker diaphragms that range in size from 6 sq in to 300 sq in (38.71 cm2to 0.1936 m2). The PEEK film is laminated to the aluminum foil with a proprietary high-heat adhesive and then etched. The three-mil-thick lamination (aluminum foil/adhesive/PEEK film) is stretched and bonded to the frame so it can then move back and forth to create sound.

In addition to KetaSpire® PEEK film, Ajedium manufactures films from a broad range of engineering, high-performance, and ultra-high performance polymers. Films up to 60 inches wide can be produced with gauges ranging from five microns to 60 mils.

KetaSpire® PEEK is one of the industry’s most chemically resistant plastics and offers excellent strength, superior fatigue resistance, high purity, and a continuous-use temperature up to 240°C (464°F). Glass fiber-reinforced and carbon fiber-reinforced grades provide a wide range of performance options for demanding applications.

About Wisdom Audio
Wisdom Audio is the leader in designing and manufacturing high-performance planar magnetic transducers for architectural speaker applications with more than 100 man-years of experience. Wisdom Audio was founded in 1996 to create no-compromise planar magnetic hybrid loudspeaker systems for the most demanding and critical audiophiles. Wisdom Audio systems employ proprietary, custom-made planar magnetic and dynamic transducers optimized for high performance, including high-end architectural audio reproduction applications. Its hybrid-technology systems have earned praise and awards from the specialized media, while satisfying a growing base of customers and dealers worldwide. Wisdom Audio’s products, including their multi-award winning Sage Series architectural models, are handcrafted in limited quantities by specialized craftsman at its headquarters in Carson City, Nev. For more information, visit www.wisdomaudio.com or call (775) 887-8850.

About Ajedium™ Films
Ajedium™ Films, acquired by Solvay in 2008, is the film division of Solvay Specialty Polymers. Ajedium Films offers a full spectrum of high-performance and developmental thermoplastic films for specialized industries and is located in Newark, Del. For more information about Ajedium Films, visit www.solvayspecialtypolymers.com.

About Solvay Specialty Polymers
Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures more high-performance plastics than any other company in the world. The company supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil & Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire & Cable, and other markets.

As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. The Group is firmly committed to sustainable development and focused on innovation and operational excellence. Solvay serves diversified markets, generating 90% of its turnover in activities where it is one of the top three worldwide. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,000 people in 55 countries and generated 12.4 billion euros in net sales in 2012. Solvay SA is listed as SOLB.BE on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB:BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).