PEEK - A high performance plastic for medical applications

14.12.2019 10:47

Plastics are versatile. Certain plastic variants can be used, for example, in medicine. The plastic PEEK is an example of a plastic variant used in medical technology. In the following, this special plastic will be discussed in more detail and the various processing and application possibilities of PEEK will be explained. 

Polyetheretherketone - a high-performance plastic

The thermoplastic, semi-crystalline high-performance plastic polyetheretherketone is called PEEK in short form. The plastic belongs to the group of polyaryletherketones and has a grey-brown or beige colour if the material is in its natural state. Polyether ether ketone is very slippery and has excellent mechanical properties. Furthermore, the plastic is chemically resistant at high temperatures. Polyetheretherketone is used to manufacture parts that are exposed to high loads. The plastic variant is considered wear-resistant and friction-resistant. Another advantage is that the construction material can be colored. PEEK can thus be presented in various colours. 

What are the properties of polyetheretherketone?

The plastic is known for its excellent mechanical properties and is thermally and chemically resistant. The sliding properties are still very good even at high temperatures. The plastic is resistant to gamma and X-rays. The resistance to gamma and X-rays is of interest for medicine and medical technology. In addition, polyetheretherketone has a melting temperature of 335 °C and can also be used as an insulating material in electrical engineering. Polyetheretherketone is referred to in connection with its high insulating capacity. 

Properties of polyether ether ketone at a glance:

- mechanical strength is excellent
- extremely creep resistant at high temperatures
- very wear resistant
- Chemical-resistant (salt solutions, alkalis, non-oxidizing acids, cleaning agents, paraffins)
- resistant to hydrolysis
- good insulating material
- Gamma and beta radiation resistant (interesting for medicine)
- good stiffness
- also suitable for continuous operating temperatures of approx. 250 °C
- unstable to UV radiation when combined with atmospheric oxygen
- unstable in contact with nitric acid, concentrated sulphuric acid, hydrogen fluoride or other strongly oxidizing acids
- is interesting for medicine due to its physiological harmlessness

Properties of PEEK that are interesting for medicine:

- very suitable for sterilisation
- good resistance to radiation
- enormous chemical resilience
- Dimensional stability is high
- enormously resistant to stress cracking
- high temperature resistance and extremely mechanically stable

What applications does PEEK offer in the field of medicine?

PEEK is a material that is very interesting for the medical sector. The material meets the expectations and requirements placed on materials for the medical technology sector. The material can be used for joint reconstruction in orthopaedics and can also be used for the production of surgical instruments, for example. PEEK is also suitable for dental applications and for many other areas of medicine. 

Further applications of polyetheretherketone:

- conventional machines and tools (e.g. saws, planes, milling machines, drills)
- nuclear industry
- chemical industry
- pharmaceutical industry
- aviation
- food industry
- defence technology

Which components, for example, can be produced with polyetheretherketone?

- Valves
- toothed wheels
- piston rings
- plain bearing
- fittings
- Engine bearing cages

Kunststoffhaus.de is the right contact for you

For PEEK plastics and CNC milled parts as well as rods and tubes made of polyetheretherketone, the Kunststoffhaus in Ahlhorn is the right contact. Other plastics as well as PEEK blanks can also be processed by Kunststoffhaus in Ahlhorn. The Plastics House belongs to Dr. Dietrich Müller GmbH and stands for high-quality CNC turned parts, CNC milled parts, 3D pressure parts and water jet parts as well as for professional plastics processing. Further information to plastics and plastic processing is available on the Internet sides of kunststoffhaus.de.


 


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