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Why PEEK is a good candidate for micromachining?

Nov. 02, 2023

Micromachining Materials – Micromachining PEEK

In this post we reveal the advantages and constraints for using PEEK (polyetheretherketone) material in your micromachining application.

Firstly, what is PEEK material and why PEEK is a good candidate for micromachining?

PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a high-performance thermoplastic polymer that has a wide range of applications due to its unique combination of properties. Put simply, PEEK is a strong and high performance plastic and thus is well suited for micro-machining.

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Some of the key applications for micromachined PEEK include:

Medical Device: PEEK suitable for medical devices because it is biocompatible, radiolucent. Furthermore, it’s high strength and stiffness makes it suitable for load-bearing applications such as in orthopedic implants.

Aerospace: PEEK works well in aerospace and defense applications due to its high strength, stiffness, light weight and excellent resistance to chemicals and high temperatures.

Industrial, Oil & Gas: PEEK is used in a variety of industrial applications, including gears, bearings, and electrical components, due to its high strength, stiffness, and chemical resistance.

Electronics: PEEK is used in electronic and electrical applications due to its excellent resistance to chemicals, high temperatures, and flame resistance. It is used in connectors, electrical components, and in the insulation of wires and cables.

Food and beverage: PEEK is used in food and beverage processing equipment due to its chemical resistance, high strength, and ability to withstand high temperatures.

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Methods for micromachining PEEK

Micromachining of PEEK can be performed using a variety of techniques, including Femtosecond Laser, EDM (electrical discharge machining), and micro-milling and micro-grinding. These methods create structures with high precision and accuracy, with feature sizes ranging all the way down to micrometers.

Challenges in micromachining PEEK

One of the largest challenges in micromachining PEEK is its high melting point, which may cause thermal damage and increased surface roughness to the material during machining. To overcome this, we utilize specialized cutting tools and cooling methods to minimize heat and during the machining process.

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In summary, PEEK is an excellent plastic material candidate for micromachining, due to its high strength and stiffness. Moreover, this material performs well in the Medical, Aerospace, Electronics industry and more.