Thermoplastic Polyimide resins are melt-processable and as such, can be injection molded, extruded, and converted into parts and shapes by various other melt processing methods. As high temperature plastics, these resins need very high heats to facilitate processing. The typical melt temperature range is 380-430oC. Extra caution should be used when processing Resins containing PTFE because of these high processing temperatures.
Heating PTFE above 300oC may liberate a fine particulate fume. Inhalation may produce polymer fume fever, a temporary flu-like condition with fever, chills, nausea, shortness of breath, chest tightness, muscle or joint ache, and sometimes cough and elevated white blood cell count. The symptoms are often delayed 4 to 24 hours after exposure. These signs are generally temporary, lasting 24-48 hours and resolve without further complications. However, some individuals with repeated episodes of polymer fume fever have reported persistent pulmonary effects. Protection against polymer fume fever should also provide protection against any potential chronic effects.
Exposure to decomposition products from PTFE heated above 400oC may cause pulmonary inflammation, hemorrhage or edema. These more serious consequences of exposure may occur from extreme thermal decomposition of PTFE, which can liberate fume particles, and toxic gases (carbonyl fluoride, hydrogen fluoride, and other fluorinated gases) especially under conditions of poor ventilation and/or confined spaces. These decomposition products may initially produce chest tightness or pain, chills, fever, nausea, with shortness of breath, cough, wheezing and progression into pulmonary edema. Edema may be delayed in onset and requires medical treatment. In severe cases, if medical intervention is delayed, pulmonary edema may become life threatening. Recovery is generally complete within a few days; in some rare cases, persistent lung function abnormalities have been reported.