Solvay’s Torlon® PAI enables durable, safe tools for cleaning composites

Solvay’s Torlon® PAI enables durable, safe tools for cleaning composites
Performance Plastics Ltd. molded the latest additions to its EnduroSharp™ line of aircraft maintenance tools from Solvay’s high-performance Torlon® 5030 polyamide-imide (PAI). Solvay’s advanced polymer enables the new tools to be tough enough to maintain their edge longer than blades molded from competitive polymers, but safe enough to remove challenging materials from delicate composite surfaces. Photos courtesy of Performance Plastics.

Solvay announced that Performance Plastics Ltd. chose Torlon® PAI for its expanded line of EnduroSharp™ Scraper Blades. Designed to remove tough materials from delicate fiber-reinforced composite surfaces, the latest additions to Performance Plastics’ portfolio include gap blades, gap filler removal bits, and discs, as well as adhesive cutters and reamers. All of the new EnduroSharp™ products are molded from Solvay’s high-performance Torlon® 5030 polyamide-imide (PAI), a 30-percent glass fiber-reinforced resin.

“The task of removing gap materials, sealants and adhesives from aircraft surfaces once forced maintenance technicians to choose between potentially harmful metal blades and polymer tools that could not hold their edge for long,” said Rich Reed, vice president of sales and marketing at Performance Plastics. “The unique properties of Solvay’s Torlon® PAI balances the best of both materials. It can be sharpened and hold an edge like metal, but it will not damage delicate composite surfaces.”

With other scraper blades manufactured from high-performance polymers, such as polyetherimide (PEI) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK), sharpened cutting edges are machined on to the molded blanks in a secondary process. The comparatively high processability of Torlon® PAI resin, however, enables EnduroSharp™ blades to deliver a sharp edge right out of the mold. Yet, the material can still be machined to create specialized designs. Torlon® PAI’s outstanding thermal stability further enables it to withstand the high heat and friction of resharpening, which can produce burrs on blades machined from PEEK and PEI. Additionally, Torlon® PAI is highly resistant to aerospace fluids and solvents, which helps ensure EnduroSharp™ tools deliver long working life.

The recently launched EnduroSharp™ blade handles, adaptors and inserts enable aerospace maintenance professionals to safely remove elastomeric coatings, boots, tapes, sealants, adhesives, gap fillers and tape residue from fiber-reinforced composite, plastic, glass, ceramic or metal substrates and fasteners. The EnduroSharp™ blades can also be used in conjunction with heat- or chemically assisted skiving processes to expedite material removal.

“Torlon® PAI is recognized as a material that combines the performance of a thermoset with the processability of thermoplastic, but in Performance Plastics’ hands it further offers the durable sharp edge of a metal blade,” said Doug Brademeyer, senior vice president and head of the Ultra Polymers business for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “The level of innovation and processing skill behind their EnduroSharp™ tools is an inspiring reminder of what high-performance polymers can achieve.

® Torlon is a registered trademark of Solvay
™ EnduroSharp is a trademark of Performance Plastics Ltd.

Performance Plastics Ltd. was founded in 1982 in Cincinnati and has partnered closely with customers to leverage the performance advantages of high-temperature thermoplastics. The company offers deep expertise in molding specialty polymers, such as PEEK, PAI, PEI, fluoropolymers, and other high-performance thermoplastic compounds. It has a long history of collaborating with world-class polymer scientists and industry-leading material suppliers to develop unique custom resin formulations targeting markets ranging from medical, industrial, oil and gas, automotive and aerospace. Learn more at

Solvay is an advanced material and specialty chemicals company, committed to developing the chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers worldwide in many diverse end markets. Its products are used in planes, cars, batteries, smart and medical devices, as well as in mineral and oil and gas extraction, enhancing efficiency and sustainability. Its lightweighting materials promote cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 26,800 employees in 61 countries. Net sales were €10.1 billion in 2017, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 22%. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB – Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program. Financial figures take into account the announced divestment of Polyamides.

Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, ultra-high performance aromatic polymers, and high-barrier polymers – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil and Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire & Cable, and other industries.

Learn more at

Media Relations
Enrico Zanini
Solvay Specialty Polymers
+39 02 2909 2127

Alan Flower
Industrial Media Relations
+32 474 117 091

Marla Witbrod
Solvay Specialty Polymers
+1 770 772 8451

Joe Bennett
AH&M Marketing Communications
+1 413 448 2260 Ext. 470

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