What is PEEK?Ralf Grobodt
Poly-ether-ether-ketone, PEEK for short is one kind of special polymer material. This material is with high-temperature resistance, chemical resistance, and other physical and chemical properties. In fact, it is a kind of semi-crystalline polymer material. It can be use as high temperature resistant structural materials and electrical insulation materials. Furthermore, it can be compound with glass fiber or carbon fiber to prepare reinforcement materials.
High-temperature resistance, Peek has a higher glass transition temperature (TG = 143 ℃) and melting point (TM = 334 ℃)
Mechanical properties, it is rigid and flexible, especially for the fatigue resistance under alternating stress. It can compare with alloy materials.
Self lubricity, such material has excellent sliding characteristics. And it is suitable for the occasions with strict requirements of low friction coefficient and wear resistance. Especially the peek with carbon fiber, graphite and PTFE modified sliding brand has excellent wear resistance.
Corrosion resistance, In addition to concentrated sulfuric acid, peek is insoluble in any solvent, strong acid and alkali, and resistant to hydrolysis, with high chemical stability.
Fire resistance, it has self-extinguishing property, even without any flame retardant, it can reach UL standard 94V-0.
Workability, Because it has the characteristics of high temperature fluidity and high thermal decomposition temperature. It can be processed in many ways: injection molding, extrusion molding, molding and melt spinning.
Application of PEEK material
Because PEEK has excellent comprehensive properties, it can replace traditional materials such as metals and ceramics in many special fields, making it one of the most popular high-performance engineering plastics today. It is currently mainly use in aerospace, automotive industry, electrical and electronic and medical machinery And other fields.
- Automotive and other transportation machinery
The growth of PEEK resin in the European market is especially the fastest growing in the automotive parts market. Especially the parts around the engine, variable speed transmission parts, steering parts, etc. have used PEEK plastic instead of some traditional high-priced metals as the manufacturing material. As the automotive industry adapts to the requirements of miniaturization, light weight and cost reduction, the demand for PEEK resin will continue to grow. 44 parts of a European car model use PEEK plastic instead of traditional metal products.
- IT manufacturing
The semiconductor manufacturing and electronics industries are expected to be another growth point for PEEK resin applications. In the semiconductor industry, in order to achieve high functionality and low cost, the size of silicon wafers is required to be larger, and the manufacturing technology is more advanced. Low dust, low gas emission, low ion dissolution, and low water absorption are all kinds of equipment materials in the semiconductor manufacturing process. Special requirements, this will be the place where PEEK resin shows its talents.
- Medical analysis equipment
Because PEEK can withstand repeated autoclaving, it can be use to manufacture endoscopic parts and dental cleaners in medical devices. In addition, due to the high strength and low dissolution of PEEK, it has been used in liquid chromatography columns, tubes, and accessories for instrument analysis. Moreover, because PEEK has good compatibility with the human body, it has successfully replaced the traditional titanium metal as an artificial bone material.
Skills of PEEK 3d printing
With the rise of 3D printers that allow high nozzle temperatures and heated beds, 3D printing using PEEK allows the construction of more complex design geometries, which cannot be produced using other technologies. It is also ideal for fused deposition modeling (FDM). Because it has low moisture absorption, especially compared to other common materials (such as ABS).
- PEEK does not respond well at fluctuating or unstable temperatures. In order to obtain the best results when 3D printing PEEK, it is recommended to keep the 3D printer in an environment with minimum temperature changes and away from areas where solar radiation and frequent occurrences occur.
- Sometimes users will encounter dark spots when printing with PEEK. Although there may be many reasons for this, the most common explanation is that the impurities of the printing materials used or the 3D printer encountered problems when processing the required temperature.
- After the printing process is complete, the nozzle should be cleaned frequently. And all remaining material should be removed from the nozzle. Otherwise the nozzle may be block and eventually cause spots.
- Sometimes, when printing with PEEK material, inappropriate crystallization may occur. If the color of the printed part is different, such as brown discoloration instead of the default beige, this may indicate incorrect crystallization. This may be cause by temperature fluctuations during printing.
- When not using PEEK for 3D printing, the material should place in a bag. You can also store it in a cool, dry and dark place. In this way, you can maintain the quality of the material and ensure the best print results.