The starting point for the new material is Ultrason E, a polyethersulfone granulate (PESU) from BASF, which the manufacturer pre-foams to make low-density pearls of 40 to 120 g/L and then processes into components with complex shapes. The foam material, which is heat-resistant up to a glass temperature of 225 °C, is certified for use in aircraft construction: It corresponds to oxygen index 38 in accordance with ASTM D 2863 and therefore meets the requirements regarding flammability, heat release and smoke gas density. Lightweight components are particularly important in aircraft construction: as the average service life of an aircraft is around 30 years, they allow a better balance of carbon dioxide emissions and not only save energy but also increase performance.
According to BASF , the characteristics of the new material also make it suitable for automobile and train production. In comparison to building up complex honeycomb structures, as is the case with alternative processes and materials, processing is relatively straightforward and makes it possible to produce particularly strong and rigid components.