Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high-performance polymer (HPP) invented in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. It is regarded as one of the six major specialty engineering plastics along with polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polysulfone (PSU), polyimide (PI), polyaromatic ester (PAR) and liquid crystal polymer (LCP).
PEEK offers excellent mechanical properties compared with other special engineering plastics. For example, it has high-temperature resistance of 260 ℃, good self-lubricity, chemical corrosion resistance, flame retardant, peel resistance, abrasion resistance and radiation resistance. It has been widely used in aerospace, automobile manufacturing, electronics and electrical, medical and food processing fields. The PEEK materials which have been reinforced and modified by blending, filling and fiber composite, have better properties. Here we will describe the application of PEEK here in details.
PEEK materials are excellent electrical insulators and maintain excellent electrical insulation in harsh working environments such as high temperature, high pressure and high humidity. In the semiconductor industry, PEEK resin is often used to make wafer carriers, electronic insulating diaphragm and various connecting devices. It is also used in wafer carriers insulating film, connector, printed circuit board, high-temperature connector, etc.
PEEK powder coating is covered on the metal surface by brush painting, thermal spraying and other methods to obtain good insulation and corrosion resistance. PEEK coating products include household appliances, electronics, machinery, etc. It can also be used for filling column for liquid chromatographic analysis and superfine tube for connection.
Currently, PEEK materials are also used in integrated circuits made by Japanese companies. The field of electronics and electrical appliances has gradually become the second-largest application category of PEEK resin.
PEEK materials can also be used in petroleum/natural gas/ultra-pure water transportation and storage equipment such as pipelines, valves, pumps and volumeters. In petroleum exploration, it can be used to make specially sized probes of mining mechanical contacts.
In addition, PEEK is often used to manufacture deflector valves, piston rings, seals, and various chemical pump and valve components. It also to make the impeller of vortex pump replaced stainless steel. PEEK can still be bonded with various adhesives at high temperatures, so connectors may be another potential niche market.
Medical apparatus and instruments
PEEK material is not only used for surgical and dental equipment and medical instruments with high sterilization requirements but also can replace metal artificial bone. It is characterized by biocompatibility, lightweight, non-toxic, strong corrosion-resistance, etc and is a similar material with the human body in elasticity modulus. (PEEK 3.8GPa, cancellous bone 3.2-7.8Gpa and cortical bone 17-20Gpa).
Aerospace and aviation
PEEK’s excellent flame retardant properties allow it to replace aluminum and other metals in various aircraft components, reducing the risk of an aircraft fire.PEEK polymeric materials have been officially certified by various aircraft manufacturers and are also eligible to supply military standard products.
PEEK polymeric materials have various advantages like high strength, lightweight and good fatigue resistance, are easy to be processed into components with minimal tolerance. They can successfully replace metals, traditional composites and other plastics.
PEEK is resistant to high temperatures, radiation and hydrolysis. The wire and cable coil framework made by PEEK has been successfully used in nuclear power plants.
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