Vespel Rings | Aero-Plastics

To machine Vespel correctly, there are a few requirements. Having the knowledge and confidence to properly machine Vespel is vital, as is using specific manufacturing processes. For many companies, the machine Vespel process can be costly, particularly without the right skills or experience to correctly do so.

Vespel tends to have good machinability characteristics, and it’s an excellent material for manufacturing due to its wear properties.

Applications using Vespel commonly require very tight tolerance features that are not only challenging to machine, but also measure. Our High-Res vision system allows for a highly accurate inspection process to ensure everything is of the best possible quality.

What are the Common Types of Machined Vespel® Used in Manufacturing?

There are several types of machined Vespel used in manufacturing for a variety of applications. The most common of these include the following:

  • Vespel SP-1
  • Vespel SP-21
  • Vespel SP-3
  • Vespel SP211
  • Vespel SP22
  • Vespel SP3
  • Vespel SCP5000
  • Vespel SCP50094
  • Vespel CR6100
  • Vespel SP202
  • Vespel ST2010
  • Vespel ST2030
Vespel Machining | Aero-Plastics

Vespel SP 1

Dupont Vespel SP1 is a highly durable polyimide that offers excellent wear resistance and insulation. Vespel SP1 is the best choice if you’re looking for durability with your products.

Vespel SP 3

Mostly used in vacuum and dry environments, Vespel Sp3 is known for its ultra-low outgassing. It is most commonly used for niche industries such as aerospace due to these properties.

Vespel SP 21

If you prioritize low-friction properties, Dupont Vespel SP21 is the most suitable option for you.It can handle wear and tear. Due to graphite enhancements, it offers long-term thermal stability and performance with or without lubrication.

Vespel SP 22

Vespel SP22 is another common type of Machine Vespel used in situations where tight tolerances are part of the design. Offering minimal thermal expansion, it has dimensional stability that is a lot more flexible for manufacturing due to its graphite enhancements, which also provide enhanced thermal conductivity and minimal thermal expansion.

Other Types of Vespel Material

In addition to the four most common types of DuPont Vespel plastic, the following types may also be used:

  • Vespel SP211
  • Vespel SP3
  • Vespel SCP5000
  • Vespel SCP50094
  • Vespel CR6100
  • Vespel SP202
  • Vespel ST2010
  • Vespel ST2030
Vespel Machining | Aero-Plastics

Vespel Plastic Properties: What is Vespel®?

Vespel is a polyimide-based plastic material with a highly ordered molecular structure. It is known for its high-performance and ability to withstand temperature ranges.

It is resistant to wear and chemicals, making it a suitable option for those seeking durability. It also offers mechanical and insulation properties and does not produce outgassing when subjected to high temperatures. It does not melt either, making it one of the best solutions for high-quality manufacturing.

Material Properties

Key mechanical properties include:

  • Ability to withstand high temperatures
  • Chemical-resistant
  • Low outgassing
  • Lubricity

Thermoplastics vs Thermosets

Polymers are available in two categories

  • Thermoplastics
  • Thermosets

The main difference between thermoplastics and thermosets is in how they are handled. Thermosets are a material that gains strength when heated. However, once heated, they cannot be remolded, reheated, or cooled and cannot be softened.

A thermoplastic, on the other hand, can be remolded, reheated, or cooled, without causing any chemical changes. Thermoplastics can be softened, or hardened repeatedly.

Vespel is a thermoplastic, which means it can be melted in the heat and can be used in high-heat, low-wear, and low-friction applications. Compared to most plastics, Vespel SP offers superior temperature stability and high wear resistance.

Advantages of Machining Vespel Plastic

Machining Vespel plastic is an alternative to materials like stainless steel or even aluminum alloys. Additional advantages of using a Vespel polyimide include the following high-performance properties:

Wear Resistance

Vespel is known for its exceptional wear resistance, which is a measure of how well a material can withstand abrasion, corrosion, and other environmental stresses. This makes Vespel an ideal choice for applications such as oil and gas production and aerospace parts.

Chemical Resistance

This polyimide-based plastic has an extremely ordered molecular structure which gives it a high chemical resistance to acids, alkalis, and solvents. This makes it a great choice for applications that require high levels of durability.

Low Outgassing

Vespel’s low outgassing is one of its most recognizable features and the main reason it is so popular in niche industries like aerospace. Outgassing, also known as off-gassing, occurs when a material releases volatile compounds into the surrounding atmosphere. These materials can include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and other gasses.

Materials that produce significant outgassing can have a detrimental effect on the environment and people’s health. The compounds described above may cause respiratory irritation or even more serious health effects when breathed in over long periods of time, and they may contribute to air pollution, as well.

Dimensional Stability

Vespel is capable of maintaining its shape and size over time, even in the most adverse environmental conditions. This makes it an ideal material for components that need to withstand extreme temperatures or pressure.

Durability & Resistance to High Temperatures

Even in extreme conditions and temperatures, Vespel has the ability to maintain structural integrity as well as its high tensile strength,
making it a suitable choice for industries that require cold or heat resistance.

Superior Lubricity

Aerospace parts and components require materials with superior lubricity for optimal performance. Vespel’s high lubricity helps make sure that bearings, seals, and other moving parts are able to move efficiently in their respective environment.

Creep Resistance

A creep resistant material is one that has a high resistance to deformation under pressure and force. Vespel has outstanding creep resistance, meaning it can maintain its shape in extreme conditions without deforming like other materials might. This makes it an ideal choice for applications such as turbine blades or gear systems that require great amounts of torque and pressure.

Applications of Vespel Plastic

Due to its physical and chemical properties, Vespel plastic is used across many different industries. This includes aerospace, semiconductor, and transportation industries – particularly in challenging conditions. The reason why Vespel plastic can be used in so many industries is because of its ability to withstand high heat, its low-wear, and low-friction properties.

Even under ultra-high-stress testing, no outgassing occurs with Vespel plastic, making it ideal for dry and vacuum options such as aerospace. The low-wear and low-friction properties make it easier for application in industries such as semiconductors and automotive where tight-tolerance and other specific operating conditions need to be considered.

Vespel is used in applications such as:

  • Insulators
  • Valve seats
  • Balls
  • Gaskets
  • Poppets
  • Wafer clamping
  • Clamping rings
  • Bushings
  • Locking fasteners
  • In-chamber semiconductor parts
  • Thrust washers
  • Seal rings
  • Bearings
  • Piston Rings

Industries that Utilize Vespel Polymers

Vespel plastic machining occurs in a variety of industries due to the material’s versatility and resistance to extreme temperatures. From oil and gas applications to transportation technology, Vespel is used in nearly any application that requires a tough, durable material.

Oil and Gas

Vespel plastic is used in a variety of parts for the oil and gas industry, including valves, seals, gaskets, bearing surfaces, and piston rings. In addition to its resistance to extreme temperatures and chemical exposure, Vespel plastic also offers superior wear resistance and stability, which makes it ideal for applications in the oil and gas industry.


Vespel plastics are widely used in the aerospace industry due to their high performance and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. They offer superior wear resistance and lubricity, and they can be machined into extremely precise aerospace components for rockets, satellites, and space vehicles.


In semiconductor manufacturing, Vespel is often used for parts such as wafer clamps, seal rings, valve seats, and thrust washers. The material’s low-outgassing properties make it a great option for in-chamber machining of precision parts.


Ideal for high-tolerance parts in transportation applications, Vespel plastic is being used increasingly in the automotive industry for items such as bearings, gaskets, and seals. Its ability to withstand extreme temperatures with no outgassing makes it ideal for components subject to high stress levels.

Injection Molds & Systems

While DuPont Vespel cannot be injection molded itself, this plastic is suitable for applications in the production of injection mold equipment, such as insulator tips, largely because of its low-friction properties.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vespel Plastic

Vespel is not always the easiest material to work with. As mentioned before, it can be costly and the right knowledge is needed to work with this material.

There is not a lot of information out there about Vespel, which makes it challenging to ascertain whether it’s the right material choice for your manufacturing needs.

Most types of Vespel cannot be injection molded because they are difficult to manufacture into complex shapes.

However, many of the Vespel TP-8000 Series components are suitable for fabrication by injection molding.

Vespel is pricier compared to other engineering plastics due to its high-performing properties. This material also has a unique blend of properties and characteristics which make it suitable for extreme temperature environments and applications where corrosion resistance is essential. This makes it ideal for many industries, but also drives up costs due to its exclusivity.

Vespel is made from polyimide-based plastic material, which is composed of a blend of polyimide and PTFE resins. The material is pressed into sheets and then cut into the desired shape.

Meldin is an alternative to Vespel. Used in a variety of ways, from the production of guitar picks to semiconductor applications like wafer handling and processing, Meldin is a versatile plastic that is more cost-effective than Vespel.

Whether you choose Vespel or Meldin for your application, Aero-Plastics is capable of machining both materials to your exact specifications.

Yes, Vespel can withstand consistent cryogenic temperatures.

DuPont is the only producer of Vespel, which offers a wide range of benefits, including high strength and wear performance, low friction, excellent chemical resistance, thermal and electrical insulation properties, dimensional stability, and flexibility. It also features a low coefficient of thermal expansion, low outgassing characteristics, and can endure extreme environmental conditions.

Our services include a rapid response option for those who need parts right away. If you require Vespel parts that need to be made within a tight turnaround time, please get in touch with us.