A heat-resistant engineering plastic may one day render cup handles a thing of the past. A recent winner of the Design Plus Prize at the Material Vision 2007 in Germany, the prototype of a transparent water boiler made of Ultrason allows users to get a clear view of the boiling water and hold the decanter-shaped kettle without getting burned. Suited for use at temperatures of up to 220°C (428°F), the transparent plastic also features good electric insulation capacity, creep resistance, dimensional stability, and low moisture absorption. The kettle is one of the many design concepts generated by the Ideo agency in Munich, which was commissioned to explore household applications that would accentuate the material’s resistance to high temperature. Other design prototypes include a hair dryer without a handle, a light bulb that works without a fitting, a heated clothes hanger, and a virtually transparent toaster that can be folded shut like a book. The Ultrason line is composed of polyethersulfone (PESU), polysulfone (PSU), and, as of recently, also polyphenylsulfone (PPSU).
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