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Polysulfone vs. Polyethersulfone: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 1, 2024
Polysulfone is a high-strength, heat-resistant polymer, while polyethersulfone is a similar polymer with enhanced chemical and thermal stability.

Key Differences

Polysulfone is a type of thermoplastic polymer known for its toughness and stability at high temperatures. Polyethersulfone, a related polymer, shares these characteristics but offers even greater heat resistance and chemical stability.
In terms of applications, polysulfone is widely used in medical devices, automotive, and aerospace parts due to its durability. Polyethersulfone finds its use in more demanding environments, such as in high-temperature filtration and electronics, due to its superior thermal stability.
Both polymers exhibit excellent mechanical properties, polyethersulfone typically has a higher glass transition temperature than polysulfone, making it more suitable for high-temperature applications.
Polysulfone is recognized for its ease of processing and good balance of properties, including transparency. Polyethersulfone, while also processable, is often chosen for applications requiring prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals or higher temperatures.
Both materials are valuable in the polymer industry for their high-performance characteristics, but the choice between polysulfone and polyethersulfone depends on the specific requirements of heat resistance, chemical stability, and mechanical strength.

Comparison Chart

Heat Resistance

High heat resistance.
Even higher heat resistance.

Chemical Stability

Good chemical resistance.
Superior chemical stability.


Medical devices, automotive, aerospace.
High-temperature filtration, electronics.

Glass Transition Temperature

Lower compared to polyethersulfone.
Higher, making it suitable for extreme environments.

Processing and Properties

Ease of processing, balance of properties.
Good processability, used in harsher conditions.

Polysulfone and Polyethersulfone Definitions


A heat-resistant thermoplastic polymer.
Polysulfone is used in making heat-resistant automotive parts.


Superior in heat and chemical resistance.
Polyethersulfone is used in chemical filtration systems due to its resilience.


Used in aerospace and automotive industries.
Aerospace components are often made from polysulfone due to its strength.


Suitable for extreme environmental conditions.
Polyethersulfone materials are used in aerospace for their ability to withstand extreme conditions.


Exhibits good balance of mechanical properties.
Polysulfone's balance of properties makes it a versatile material in engineering.


Has a high glass transition temperature.
The high glass transition temperature of polyethersulfone makes it suitable for high-heat applications.


Known for its toughness and stability.
The medical industry utilizes polysulfone for its durable medical equipment.


A high-performance thermoplastic with excellent thermal stability.
Polyethersulfone is ideal for high-temperature electronic components.


Transparent and easy to process.
The transparency of polysulfone is beneficial in creating certain medical devices.


Used in demanding industrial applications.
For industrial applications requiring long-term stability, polyethersulfone is often the material of choice.


(chemistry) Any of a several classes of thermoplastic polymers whose repeat units contain a sulfone


(chemistry) Any of a family of thermoplastic polymers that are known for their toughness and stability at high temperatures. They contain the subunit aryl-SO2-aryl, the defining feature of which is the sulfone group.


What are common uses of polysulfone?

In medical devices, automotive, and aerospace parts.

Can polysulfone be transparent?

Yes, it can be transparent.

What is polysulfone?

A high-strength, heat-resistant polymer.

How is polysulfone processed?

It's processed through various thermoplastic techniques.

Where is polyethersulfone commonly used?

In high-temperature filtration and electronics.

What is polyethersulfone?

A thermoplastic with enhanced chemical and thermal stability.

Is polyethersulfone easy to process?

Yes, though it's often used for more demanding applications.

Is polysulfone heat resistant?

Yes, it's known for its heat resistance.

Does polyethersulfone have high heat resistance?

Yes, it has superior heat resistance.

Can polysulfone resist chemicals?

Yes, though not as well as polyethersulfone.

Can polysulfone be used in high-temperature applications?

Yes, but not as high as polyethersulfone.

How do these materials behave under stress?

Both have excellent stress resistance, with polyethersulfone performing better under extreme conditions.

How does polyethersulfone compare to polysulfone in chemical resistance?

It has superior chemical resistance.

How does the strength of polysulfone compare to polyethersulfone?

Both have high strength, but polyethersulfone is better for more extreme conditions.

Is polyethersulfone suitable for medical applications?

Yes, especially where higher heat resistance is needed.

Are there any transparency differences between the two?

Polysulfone is generally more transparent.

What makes polyethersulfone unique?

Its ability to withstand harsher environments.

What is the glass transition temperature of polyethersulfone?

Higher than polysulfone, making it suitable for extreme environments.

Are these polymers recyclable?

Recycling can be challenging due to their high-performance nature.

Are polysulfone and polyethersulfone safe for food contact?

They can be, but it depends on the specific formulation and application.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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