PEEK or PolyEther Ether Ketone is a colourless organic thermoplastic polymer. PEEK polymers are obtained by step-growth polymerisation by the dialkylation of bisphenolate salts. It is considered to be one of the best performing thermoplastics In the world. The processing conditions to mould PEEK can influence the crystallinity and hence the mechanical properties.
What is PEEK?
PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties that are retained to high temperatures. The product has a glass transition temperature at around 143°C and melts around 343°C. This material brings high mechanical strength, stiffness and creep resistance over a wide temperature range. It is highly resistant to thermal degradation and attacks by both organic and aqueous environments. It dissolves completely in concentrated sulfuric acid at room temperature. Thanks to its amazing combination of key properties, experts happily apply PEEK in a variety of industries.
Because of its robustness, parts machined in PEEK are used in demanding applications, including bearings, piston parts, pumps, HPLC columns, compressor plate valves, and cable insulation. It is one of the few plastics compatible with ultra-high vacuum applications. This material is considered an advanced biomaterial used in medical implants. It is extensively used in the aerospace, automotive and chemical process industries. PEEK also performs well in applications where continuous high temperatures are common.
Key properties of PEEK
- Very good mechanical and chemical resistance
- Excellent strength, rigidity and toughness at elevated temperatures
- Properties can be improved by adding additives (graphite, glass, carbon,…)
- Low permeability
- Low coefficient of friction
- Excellent electrical properties
- Low moisture absorption
- Demanding applications such as bearings, piston parts, pumps, HPLC columns, compressor plate valves and cable insulation
- High-vacuum applications
- Used in medical implants
- Extensively used in the aerospace, automotive and chemical process industries