PEEK, also referred to as polyether ether ketone, is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic with excellent mechanical qualities that is widely used in the industrial sector. It has been a well-liked material in the field of additive manufacturing for a while now. PEEK is primarily utilized in the aerospace, medical, and automotive industries. It is heat and wear resistant, and because of its weight to strength ratio, it may replace some metals.
PEEK’s crystallization process needs to be managed during 3D printing. In fact, some of the substance will crystallize, altering its density. Extrusion, build plate, and enclosure must all be kept at high temperatures, and temperature swings must be prevented. Therefore, a 3D printer with an extruder that can reach 400°C, a heated chamber of 120°C, and a build plate that can heat to 230°C to remove the product and prevent warping are required to 3D print PEEK.
Even though PEEK is a difficult material, it also provides the industry some highly intriguing mechanical and chemical properties. It actually possesses excellent heat and wear resistance, high chemical resistance, sterilizability, and dielectric characteristics. PEEK is frequently used to substitute specific metals since it has a high weight to strength ratio. Last but not least, PEEK is flame resistant, making it an intriguing 3D printing material for industries like aerospace that have strict fire/smoke regulations.
The medical industry is particularly intrigued by this high-performance material. It can be utilized for a variety of purposes because it is sterilizable, including the creation of individualized implants. PEEK contains characteristics that are similar to those of human bone; as a result, a 3D-printed PEEK implant could encourage the regeneration of surrounding tissues and speed osseointegration.