A GUIDE TO PPE
What is PPE?
The letters PPE stand for polyphenylene ether. Polyphenylene ether
is a polymer characterized by regular, closely spaced phenyl groups
(the same circular structures that are in polycarbonate). In general
practice, PPE will indicate that a material is a modified polyphenylene
ether. The modification of PPE involves the blending of a second
polymer which is usually polystyrene or polystyrene/butadiene.
PPE is similar in chemical composition to polyphenylene oxide (PPO), and they are generally treated as equivalent materials.
What are the properties of PPE?
- very good physical properties
- good heat resistance
- poor chemical resistance
- very stable dimensionally
- poor color stability
- moderate price
- somewhat tough processing
What are the applications of PPE?
The strength, stability, and the acceptance of flame retardants
of PPE (and PPO) makes them desirable for machine and appliance
housings. The lack of chemical resistance and color stability
means they often have to be painted in these applications. Low
water absorption leads to their use in many water handling products.
PPE can also be electroplated in automotive wheel covers and grills.
Here is a summary of PPE applications:
- internal appliance components
- brackets and structural components of office products
- large computer and printer housings (painted, foamed)
- automotive wheel covers, plated
- high tolerance electrical switch boxes and connectors