Here at Redwood Plastics we are constantly reinforcing the value of plastics to a variety of industries. One thing we do is constantly remind people of the remarkable properties of plastics. Properties like low coefficient of friction, impact strength, or ease of machining. However, certain plastics still stand above others in how truly impressive they are, even compared to other great plastic materials. Redco™ PEEK definitely qualifies as one such material.
PEEK is an acronym for PolyEtherEtherKetone, a semi-crystalline high-performance thermoplastic. PEEK makes a n excellent bearing material with great strength, toughness and rigidity. Like UHMW, it has very low moisture absorption and abrasion resistance.
However PEEK has some more unique properties that set it apart from many other thermoplastics. Perhaps its greatest property is its extremely high temperature tolerance – 480 F (250 c) in continuous use. This makes PEEK a rival to PTFE (Polytriflouroethylene) in regards to high-temperature applications; however, many of PEEK’s physical properties are superior to PTFE. Furthermore, due to its low moisture absorption, PEEK is unaffected by exposure to hot water or steam. Yes, this is a plastic that can continually handle temperatures hotter than most oven settings you would use to cook your food! A second key property is PEEK’s resistance to all common solvents and a wide range of organic (and inorganic) liquids.
Besides unfilled (general purpose), PEEK comes in three filled grades.
1.) Bearing Grade – Carbon fiber, graphite, and PTFE lubricants result in the lowest coefficient and best machinability of any PEEK grade.
2.) 30% Glass Filled – Reduces the expansion rate/increases flexural modulus. Ideal for applications requiring especially high strength above 300 F.
3.) 30% Carbon Fiber Filled – Lower expansion rate, higher compressive strength and stiffness. More thermal conductivity.
Practical opportunities for PEEK exist in a breadth of industries for a number of potential products including:
-Automotive engine parts
-Pump wear rings
-Computer wafer handling components
-Bearings and bushings
PEEK truly sets itself apart from other thermoplastics. For more information on PEEK or questions regarding your application please contact us.
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