PEEK used in wire
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) Offers the Strength of Metal

Unique Properties Give PEEK Plastic
an Edge

Polyetheretherketone, or PEEK plastic or PEEK as it’s more commonly known, is one of the more versatile engineered thermoplastic materials used today. Originally introduced in the 1980s, parts made using PEEK injection molding can be found in sophisticated applications in an array of industries such as nuclear, aerospace, and medical.

Like other thermoplastics, neat (unfilled) PEEK can be compounded into different grades to meet differing demands. Of the grades, naturally abrasion-resistant, unfilled, PEEK plastic provides wear and steam resistance and outstanding toughness. Reinforcing PEEK with fibers such as glass or carbon can add characteristics such as increased stiffness, greater stability, and greater thermal conductivity.

Characteristics

While one of the more expensive thermoplastics, injection molding PEEK resin is a favored choice as a metal replacement. This lightweight material’s most popular properties include:

  • High heat resistance
  • Low moisture absorption
  • High tensile strength
  • Tolerance to gamma radiation
  • Chemical resistance
  • Fatigue and stress-crack resistance
  • Creep resistance
  • Low levels or toxic gas emissions
  • Can be overmolded

During PEEK plastic injection molding, the material can be heated and reheated without significant degradation.

Industries and Applications

The wide range of industries using plastic injection molding, PEEK demonstrates the material’s popularity and usefulness, particularly as a metal replacement. Industries and segments within the industries choosing PEEK plastic for their injection molding needs include:

  • Medical & pharmaceutical
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Semiconductor
  • Food processing
  • Nuclear
  • Oil and gas
  • Filter manufacturing

The highly stable chemical structure and the thermoplastic’s natural white to light brown state allow the material to be used in a myriad of applications that do not require extensive coloration or decorative finishing. Common applications include:

  • Machinery and equipment components
  • Industrial seals
  • Hydraulic components
  • Ball screws
  • Linear actuators
  • Bushings and bearings
  • Under-the-hood components
  • Instrument parts
  • Electrical components
  • Biodiesel filters

With a higher cost than most other thermoplastics used in plastic injection molding, the decision to use PEEK is a thoughtful one. Understanding the choices, benefits, costs, and the risks of each is critical to selecting the best material for each application.

Make the best choice for your application

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