If you are in the additive manufacturing industry, you would be aware about polyether ether ketone, (PEEK). A highly popular semi-crystalline thermoplastic material in the manufacturing industry, PEEK is known for its mechanical properties. It is mainly used in the aerospace, medical and automotive industries. It is a high performing polymer and is available in filament form for all FDM (fused deposition modelling) / FFF (fused filament fabrication) machines.
3DAMSS Unique Processing Technique for Easy PEEK
3DAMSS produces a unique kind of PEEK 3D printing filament called easy PEEK which is very easy to process when compared with other material suppliers. Our peek is unique because it needs no heated chamber, yes!! You heard it right only an enclosure is enough, all you need is a printer which can go 150c on the bed and 450c on the nozzle, like the
Funmat-ht, and we give you the settings to print it, we print this at 395c on the nozzle and 125c on the bed, with a fan speed of 75% (sounds like pla doesn’t it !!!) the resultant parts are printed in the amorphous state, which we later anneal in a special compound to crystallize the part with isotropic shrinkage.
Amorphous State Post Printing
Crystalline State Post Annealing in The Proprietary Compound
To top this all we have got terrific test results back from the lab and they are good a 90 mpa on tensile!! That’s 90% of injection molding values!!! And that’s what we aim for to reach as close to injection molding values as possible.
*Filaments must be dried @120c for 6-12 hours and fed dry using a dryer like @printdry at 70c
*bed substrate must be carbon fiber sheet or rough borosilicate glass, along with pvp glue or vision miner’s nano polymer, the magigoo-ht also works.
*parts must be removed immediately of the bed post printing.
*These settings have been tried and tested on our equipment with preset conditions. We accept no responsibility for any failure resulting in using this process, you can use these settings at your own risk.
*These settings only work with our material, if you try another manufacturer's material the results may not be the same, so use these settings at your own risk.
Some of its unique characteristics are as follows –
- It is heat, wear, water, and chemical resistant.
- It can replace some metals like stainless steel and aluminium due to its inherently low specific gravity of PEEK (1.3 g/cm3) less than half that of aluminium and one sixth that of steel.
- As it is a semi-crystalline polymer, its melting due to heat results in its complete solidification.
- It maintains its mechanical characteristics with increase in temperature.
- It is sterilizable and has dielectric properties.
- It has excellent dimensional stability and low and uniform coefficient of thermal expansion.
- It is flame resistant and hence is a highly useful 3D printing material for sectors such as aerospace that have high fire/smoke constraints.
- PEEK is biocompatible, and hence is used in medical implants and other applications requiring contact with human tissue.
- Smoke and gas emissions are lower.
- Long term hydrolytic stability, which is the resistance of a cured polymer material to revert to a semisolid or liquid form when exposed to high humidity or temperature.
Though PEEK is among the costliest additive manufacturing polymers it is still cheaper than most metals) and is more accessible today than ever before.
Some of the Advantages of using PEEK filament are –
- Enhanced performance through elimination of corrosion, increased fuel efficiency with lower friction, and handling of higher loads/speeds
- Producing lightweight yet strong objects due to PEEK’s superior strength-to -weight ratio
- Significant reduction in maintenance, logistics and installation costs
- Minimal waste creation due to enhanced material efficiency resulting in re-use of manufacturing waste.
- PEEK gives greater design freedom. Amazing processing versatility allows complex geometries to be moulded-in without labour intensive post-machining steps. This helps engineers improve on performance while reducing total system cost. Simply said, you can make objects that can’t be made with metal AM.
Applications of PEEK
- In the medical field, PEEK is being used for many applications including the manufacture of custom-made implants. due to its low moisture absorption and ease of sterilisation. Since PEEK has properties like the human bone, it is used in 3D printing of implants, which helps accelerating osseointegration. Customized medical devices such as surgical instruments, reinforcing rods and spinal fusion devices are also designed using 3D printing of PEEK.
- In the Aerospace sector, PEEK due to its exceptional chemical resistance and high strength, is used in the manufacture of components used in actuators and controls, sensors, thermal and power management, cable protection and other systems It is also used in cabin interior applications for seating, chilling systems, oxygen systems, lighting, vacuum waste systems and cargo handling equipment.
- In the automotive industry, PEEK 3D printing is used to create high-performance, lightweight, customised, and on-demand parts, to help reduce vehicle weight, enhance specific strength, and improve fuel efficiency. PEEK offers greater wear and temperature resistance, while optimizing weight.
- In the consumer electronics industry, PEEK screws are preferred over metal screws as PEEK is lightweight and non-conducting. PEEK fasteners are used in electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, gaming devices.
- In the semiconductor equipment manufacturing industry, PEEK screws and fasteners are used. Manifolds for semiconductor production equipment are also manufactured using PEEK.
- PEEK is also used in manufacturing of seals, bushings, bearings, gears, pump, and compressor components.
In conclusion, PEEK has proved to be an excellent and high-performing polymer increasingly used in some of the most demanding applications, as it meets the needs and expectations of business. The demand for PEEK can only grow further with newer applications emerging soon.