It’s easy to confuse PEEK with PEK. PEK (polyetherketone) is a ketone-based thermoplastic used for high-performance engineering. Like PEEK, PEK is also used in demanding applications due to its excellent mechanical properties. However, PEK is better at maintaining its qualities across temperatures. As the heat rises PEK retains its strength, and for that reason it is used in vibrational loading conditions where components need to undergo high loads at high temperatures. Gears, shafts, and bushes are made from PEK.
When compared to PEEK specifications, PEK has a higher heat distortion temperature and melting point. However, PEEK plastic is more flexible than PEK which is why it is used in different applications. You will find PEEK machining is used to make instrument parts, bushings and bearings, seals, and more.
In order to understand “What is PEEK Plastic?” it is important to understand its most important properties. This will help you make the right decision as to when and how to use PEEK in your application.
Chemical and hydrolysis resistance: PEEK plastic is resistant to many harsh chemicals, which means it can undergo difficult applications without bending or decaying. PEEK plastic also has high hydrolysis resistance, which is essentially the material’s reaction to water. Materials with low hydrolysis resistance break or dissolve easily when exposed to water.
Stress and creep resistant: PEEK plastic is resistant to various types of stress making it ideal in industries like aerospace and oil and gas. It is also creep resistant, which refers to a material’s resistance to slowly deforming over repeated exposure to stress. Unlike other plastics, PEEK will maintain its durable form after undergoing stress.
Lightweight and inert: PEEK plastic is lightweight which makes PEEK CNC machining a more seamless process. This material is also chemically inert, which refers to a lack of chemical reactions. When exposed to different elements and materials, PEEK will remain constant and non-reactive.
Processing PEEK Plastic | PEEK CNC Machining
In order to form products out of PEEK plastic, different machining processes need to be enacted. PEEK CNC machining is a common method for forming plastic parts that are crafted to exact specifications.
CNC Machining stands for “computer numerical control” machines like mills and lathes. These machines are guided by a computer that feeds them specific instructions to shape, bend, turn, and form the plastic material. Think of PEEK CNC machining as a chain reaction. An engineer writes the directions and feeds those to the computer, the computer reads the information, and then the computer directs the machinery with complete accuracy.
CNC machining is used with all types of materials, not just PEEK plastic. You’ll find CNC machining also works with metals, wood, and more. When it comes to PEEK machining, this process forms components like bearings, electrical components, filters, and more.