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SABIC Innovative Plastics

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SABIC Innovative Plastics Wins Aviation Week Suppliers’ Innovation Challenge Award for its Versatile, Lightweight Ultem* PEI Structural Foam

SABIC Innovative Plastics has won an award in Aviation Week’s first annual Suppliers’ Innovation Challenge competition, recognizing new and recent technology developments by tiered suppliers in the aerospace and defense industry.

Pittsfield, MA, January 16, 2011 --( The company’s lightweight, rigid Ultem* polyetherimide (PEI) foam, used as the structural core in multi-layer systems for aviation interior components, won the Composites category. According to Aviation Week, winners “represent the best-in-class, potential game-changing innovations.” This achievement illustrates SABIC Innovative Plastics’ strong focus on partnering with aviation industry OEMs to help them succeed by meeting tough safety, regulatory, sustainability and economic requirements.

“SABIC Innovative Plastics is honored to receive industry recognition for Ultem foam, a material that offers a broad range of benefits to our aviation customers worldwide,” said Kim Choate, global Ultem product market leader, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “This structural foam is an exceptionally high-performing, lightweight form of our world renowned Ultem thermoplastic resin, which has proven its value over more than 20 years of use in aviation applications. Ultem foam is a major innovation that can help drive greater improvements in flame retardancy, fuel economy, lower greenhouse gas emissions and design flexibility helping airlines achieve their business and sustainability goals.”

Ultem foam enables aircraft designers to leverage the best-in-class flame, smoke, toxicity (FST) performance of Ultem resin in a form that is 10 - 20 times lighter than traditional plastic components. It is an ideal thermoformable core material for composite structures such as luggage bins, galleys and lower wall panels (dado panels). Ultem foam meets Ohio State University (OSU) performance levels below 50/50, and offers low moisture absorption, excellent energy absorption and low dielectric loss. It is also transparent to radar. The Ultem foam product family comprises grades with three different densities.

The Suppliers’ Innovation Challenge awards program, sponsored by Aviation Week and Defense Technology International, received submissions from 80 organizations. They were reviewed by a distinguished panel of nine judges on the basis of value provided to primes and subcontractors through:

Design innovation that changes product size, weight or capability,
Simple alternatives to a complex and costly product design, and
Technology breakthroughs that provide new or substantially improved performance.

For additional information on SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Ultem foam products, please go to For technical product inquiries, please contact us at

About SABIC Innovative Plastics

SABIC Innovative Plastics is a leading, global supplier of engineering thermoplastics with a 75-year history of breakthrough solutions that solve its customers’ most pressing challenges. Today, SABIC Innovative Plastics is a multi-billion-dollar company with operations in more than 35 countries and approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The company continues to lead the plastics industry with customer collaboration and continued investments in new polymer technologies, global application development, process technologies, and environmentally responsible solutions that serve diverse markets such as automotive, electronics, building & construction, transportation, and healthcare. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film, and sheet. SABIC Innovative Plastics ( is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the world’s top six petrochemicals manufacturers.


* Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV.
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SABIC Innovative Plastics
Jodi Kennedy

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