BASF's high clarity polyether sulfone (PESU) variant, Ultrason® E2010 HC has been employed by The PAB company - a manufacturer of safety equipment headquartered in Buzet, Croatia - for the visor of its very heat-resistant firefighter's helmet, the FIRE HT 04. This marks the first commercial application for BASF's new high-performance plastic Ultrason® E2010 HC. The 1.2 kg weighing firefighter's helmet and its visor have been developed to resist a temperature of 250°C [482°F] for 30 minutes without being damaged. This protective gear even has to be able to withstand a temperature of 1000°C [1832°F] for ten seconds due to Ultrason E's glass-transition temperature of 225°C [437°F].
In addition, BASF claims that this material inherently fire safe without the addition of flame retardants. The toughness of this transparent plastic makes it very break-resistant, even under extremely rough conditions, the company asserts. The helmet and the visor can be efficiently produced by means of injection molding, so that even complex shapes with integrated functions can be easily achieved. In developing the new Ultrason variant, BASF succeeded in optimizing the production conditions in such a way as to drastically reduce the typical inherent yellow color of the plastic, thus attaining excellent visual purity. Consequently, the HC type combines high clarity with the properties that are characteristic for Ultrason E: resistance to hydrolysis, chemicals and high temperatures. This combination of properties opens the door to new applications such as viewing windows in household appliances.