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Polusulfone (PSF), like polycarbonate, is transparent, strong, non-toxic, and extremely tough. PSF is less subject to hydrolytic attack during autoclaving than PC and has a natural straw-colored cast. PSF is resistant to acids, bases, aqueous solutions, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and alcohols.

PSF is composed of phenylene units linked by three different chemical groups—isopropylidene, ether, and sulfone. Each of the three linkages imparts specific properties to the polymer, such as chemical resistance, temperature resistance, and impact strength. Polysulfone does contain traces of Bisphenol A (BPA) by nature of its monomer building block. 

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Polysulfone is used to make products where the combination of mechanical strength, autoclavability, chemical resistance, and clarity are critical to product performance, such as for centrifuge tubes, reusable filtration units, and dilution bottles.

Popular products made from Polysulfone (PSF)

Physical properties: Nalgene PSF






HDT[1]: 174℃

Max Use[2]: 141–165℃




UV light: poor resistance

Transparency: clear with straw-colored cast

Specific gravity: 1.24

Microwave[13]: yes

cc.-mil/ 100in2-24hr.-atm
N2: 55
O2: 300
CO2: 700

cc.-mm/ m2-24 hr.-Bar
N2: 21.40
O2: 117.00
CO2: 272.00

Autoclave: yes

EtO: yes

Dry heat: yes

Radiation: no

Disinfectants: yes

Non-cytotoxic[6]: yes

Suitable for food & bev use[7]: yes

Regulation Part 21 CFR: 177.1655

Chemical compatibility

The following table contains general use exposure ratings at 20°C. The ability of plastic materials to resist chemical attack and damage is dependent also on temperature, length of exposure to the chemical, and added stresses such as centrifugation. For more detailed chemical resistance ratings for Nalgene products and materials, please consult the resources referenced at the bottom of this page.

Class General rating
Acids, dilute or weak E
Acids*, strong and concentrated  G
Alcohols, aliphatic G
Aldehydes F
Bases/alkali E
Esters N
Hydrocarbons, aliphatic G
Hydrocarbons, aromatic N
Hydrocarbons, halogenated N
Ketones, aromatic N
Oxidizing agents, strong G

*Except for oxidizing acids; for oxidizing acids, see "Oxidizing agents, strong."

 E   30 days of constant exposure causes no damage. Plastic may even tolerate for years.
   Little or no damage after 30 days of constant exposure to the reagent.
   Some effect after 7 days of constant exposure to the reagent. Depending on the plastic, the effect may be crazing, cracking, loss of strength, or discoloration.
 N   Not recommended for continuous use. Immediate damage may occur including severe crazing, cracking, loss of strength, discoloration, deformation, dissolution, or permeation loss.

Products made from Polysulfone (PSF)

Application tips for Nalgene PSF products

Only very specific Nalgene products are made from polysulfone. 

You can identify PSF reusable filterware by is transparent, straw-colored appearance. Polystyrene filterware is colorless, while polypropylene filterware has a milky-white haze in comparison.    

PSF Oakridge centrifuge tubes can also be distinguished from other centrifuge tube materials by their straw-colored, transparent appearance. Only 30ml and 50ml Oakridge-style tubes with screw caps are made from the PSF material. Polycarbonate centrifuge tubes, in comparison, are colorless and clear, and are available in a wider range of styles and sizes.

The only Nalgene bottles made from PSF are square dilution bottles (approx 200ml capacity). You can distinguish them once again by their transparent, straw-colored appearance compared with Nalgene polypropylene copolymer (PPCO) dilution bottles, which are milky-white in appearance.

Use, care, and cleaning
PSF labware will scratch if exposed to abrasive materials. Use only soft sponge-type cleaning utensils rather than brushes. And if you put your PSF labware in the dish washer, cover any hard metallic spindles with a piece of flexible tubing to prevent them from scratching your labware.

PSF labware and bottles are autoclavable. The recommended autoclave cycle for empty containers is 121°C at 15 psi for 20 minutes. Care must be taken to allow free air circulation into and out of vessels during the autoclave cycle, especially during the venting and cooling stages. If the container is not properly vented, collapse or implosion (sometimes confused with melting) can occur.

When autoclaving bottles, the cap threads must be completely disengaged from the container; the cap can be set loosely over the mouth opening at a rogue angle to ensure the threads don’t inadvertently engage. Once the container is completely cooled, the cap can be aseptically tipped into place and tightened down.

Be sure to follow all autoclave instructions provided with your PSF labware products or contact for detailed autoclave instructions for your specific products. 

PSF Oakridge Centrifuge tubes are designed for high-speed centrifugation up to 10,000xg when equipped with a standard screw closure. When equipped with a sealing cap, they remain leakproof up to 50,000xg. In all cases, the tube must be filled at least 80% full for proper performance. They may be spun in refrigerated or non-refrigerated centrifuges.  

[1]. Heat Deflection Temperature is the temperature at which an injection molded bar deflects 0.1” when placed under 66 psig (ASTM D648) of pressure. Materials may be used above Heat Deflection Temperatures in non-stress applications; see Max. Use Temp.
[2]. Max. Use Temp. °C: this is related to the maximum continuous use temperature, ductile/brittle temperature and glass transition temperature, and represents the highest temperature at which the polymer can be exposed for the matter of minutes to 2 hours where there is little or no loss of strength.
[4]. STERILIZATION: Autoclaving (121°C, 15 psig for 20 minutes)—Clean and rinse items with distilled water before autoclaving. (Always completely disengage thread before autoclaving.) Certain chemicals which have no appreciable effect on resins at room temperature may cause deterioration at autoclaving temperatures unless removed with distilled water beforehand.
     EtO Gas—Ethylene Oxide: 100% EtO, EtO:Nitrogen mixture, EtO:HCFC mixture
     Dry Heat—exposure to 160°C for 120 minutes without stress/load on the polymer parts
     Disinfectants—Benzalkonium chloride, formalin/formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, etc.
     Radiation—gamma or beta irradiation at 25 kGy (2.5 MRad) with unstabilized plastic
[6]. “Yes” indicates the resin has been determined to be non-cytotoxic, based on USP and ASTM biocompatibility testing standards utilizing an MEM elution technique with WI38 human diploid lung cell line.
[7]. Resins meet requirements of CFR21 section of Food Additives Amendment of the Federal Food and Drug Act. End users are responsible for validation of compliance for specific containers used in conjunction with their particular applications. 
[12]. The brittleness teperature is the temperature at which an item made from the resin may break or cracked if dropped. This is not the lowest use temperature if care is exercised in use and handling.
[13]. Ratings based on 5-minute tests using 600 watts of power on exposed, empty labware. CAUTION: Do not exceed Max. Use Temp., or expose labware to chemicals which heating will cause to attack the plastic or be rapidly absorbed.


Technical support

For assistance choosing products appropriate for your application, please speak with a Nalgene technical support representative team by phone at +1-585-586-8800 or (1-800-625-4327 US toll free), or email your request to

In Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom please contact technical support by phone at +800-1234-9696 (toll free) or +49-6184-90-6321, or email your request to

Regulatory support: for regulatory documentation of product or material claims, please contact Nalgene regulatory support at


For chemical compatibility ratings by chemical, temperature, and length of exposure, use the  Nalgene General Labware Chemical Compatibility Guide 

For centrifugeware chemical compatibility ratings, please use ONLY the Centrifuge Ware Chemical Resistance

Request printed resources

  • Break the Glass Habit Brochure
  • Bottle and Carboy Selection Guide
  • Plastic Properties Reference Magnet
  • Plastic Labware Chemical Resistance Wall Poster

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