Have you seen people talking about peek plastics but have no idea what they are? Perhaps you have been asked to source some and don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know how difficult it can be to get the answers you need, especially when it comes to peek plastics. Everyone seems to have a different definition or use for it, and that doesn’t help when you want a simple answer to satisfy your curiosity. You find yourself endlessly scrolling, searching, and never finding the answers that you want.
Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out what peek plastics are, what they are used for, and everything you need to know about them! Prepare to make yourself a peek plastic expert.
What Are Peek Plastics?
Let’s get straight into it! Peek plastics, or polyetheretherketone, is a high-performance engineering plastic. Essentially, it is strong and stiff plastic that can perform well over a range of temperatures.
It has an insane resistance to harsh chemicals and comes with excellent mechanical strength and dimensional stability. They come with hydrolysis resistance to steam, water, and seawater, so you would never need to worry about it getting damaged! It can stay stiff even at high temperatures and can even be used continuously at up to 338 degrees Fahrenheit!
No wonder it’s been a firm favorite of engineers working in challenging environments! Typically we see peek plastics used in aerospace, food and drink processing, with oil and gas, and as a semiconductor. If you are working in any of these industries, then chances are you will have heard about peek plastic!
Peek plastic tends to be fairly expensive, but that hasn’t stopped it from being widely used! People are willing to pay good money for peek plastic thanks to its lightweight nature and incredible durability. If you are working in a tough environment then it’s worth spending your money on peek plastics as you know they are going to last!
Now that we have covered what it is, let’s dive in a little deeper and look at the plastic in more detail. After all, why learn just one thing when you could learn everything about this plastic?
What Are the Key Properties of Peek Plastics?
Peek has several key properties that you will want to be aware of before deciding if it’s the one for you, or even if you just want to know more about plastics. So let’s take a look at some of these properties now. When looking at these properties, we will also be looking at the different material options you have with peek plastic!
Glass-filled peek comes with enhanced mechanical and thermal properties compared to basic peek plastics, making it the ideal choice for those working with extremely high temperatures. It also has outstanding resistance in harsh chemical environments and is electrically insulative too.
Virgin or Unfilled Peek
Virgin or unfilled peek is naturally abrasion-resistant.
Bearing Grade Peek
Bearing grade peek comes with enhanced bearing and wear properties, designed to increase its durability. It should also be able to bear more weight than other peek plastics. As always, be sure to check this with any peek plastic you are sourcing to ensure that it is the right choice for you.
FDA Compliant Peek
This type of peek plastic has met FDA requirements. As the requirements can sometimes change, it’s best to check these on the FDA’s website and double-check that any FDA compliant peek matches the criteria stated online before making your purchase.
TECAPEEK PVX is an ultra-high-performance material that comes with wear-enhancing additives to increase its durability. If you were looking for a super long-lasting peek, then this would be the one for you!
Optical, Metal and X-Ray Detectable Peek
These peek plastics tend to be FDA compliant and are designed for food and beverage processing and pharmaceutical industries. Metal and x-ray detectable peeks come with a heat deflection temperature of over 300 degrees Fahrenheit and are resistant to a range of cleaning chemicals. These are ideal for those working with intense cleaning chemicals or hot temperatures!
What Are the Limitations of Peek?
While peek plastics can sound brilliant, as with all things in life there are some downsides that you need to be aware of. Let’s take a look at what some of these are:
- Peek is very expensive
- You need high temperatures to process it
- It has a low resistance to UV light
It is worth considering these limitations when deciding if peek plastics are the one for you or not. You can usually solve the UV issues by coating or keeping the plastics out of direct sunlight, but this is not always easy to do. Be sure to check your budget beforehand to ensure that you can afford to use peek plastic for your designs.
What Are Peek Plastics Used For?
So what are peek plastics used for? Well, these plastics have a range of uses, as we have mentioned throughout the article, but are commonly used in the following circumstances:
- Peek is used for aerospace parts
- Peek is used as a semiconductor in machinery components
- It is used for brushings, bearings, seals, and backup rings
- It is used as peek and valve components
- Peek is used for vacuum wand handles
- Peek is used for downhole electrical connectors
- It is used in medical instrument parts
- It is used in food processing machine components
Peek is used in other parts and components too, but this is most commonly where you will find peek being used!
And there you have it, peek plastics are strong and stiff plastics that can resist high temperatures and chemicals. You can expect incredible durability from peek plastics and are likely to see them used in aerospace parts and food and drink processors. Peek remains a popular choice with engineers thanks to the properties we looked at earlier, and despite its high price, we can expect to see it around for years to come!