Different organic synthesis techniques can be used to create PEEK, but the most common approach is a step-growth polymerization produced by the dialkylation of bisphenolate salts.

For instance, PEEK can be made by nucleophilically substituting hydroquinone into 4,4′-difluorobenzophenone in the presence of an anhydrous carbonate salt while the reaction is carried out in a polar aprotic solvent with a high melting point (often diphenyl sulfone).

Despite being a mouthful, this is a condensed version of the entire synthesis, and many businesses employ secretive techniques to improve particular properties of materials for particular uses. Whatever the specific process, PEEK is constructed utilizing a rigid aromatic polymer basis, which contributes to its higher temperature and wear resistances than those of other polymers.

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