There are many different materials that you can use to print objects with your 3D printer. With each of these materials, you can achieve different results. Within the 3D industry, one of the top notch materials is polyether ether ketone, otherwise known as PEEK. It is a colorless, organic thermoplastic polymer that achieves some of the best results out of all thermoplastics worldwide. It is part of the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family.
PEEK is used in a number of applications that require equipment which can withstand extreme temperatures, corrosive fluids and gases as well as high pressures. Its temperature resistance can go up to 260 degrees Celsius. It has a low moisture absorption, making it especially suitable for application in the medical industry. PEEK is often used as a substitute for metal and can be found in a lot of electronics due to its conductive qualities. For instance, the antenna of almost every smartphone on the market is made of PEEK. Without even realizing it, you are using PEEK on a daily basis!
Its unique qualities make it an ideal choice for oil and gas equipment, but it sees a much broader use than that. Engineers in the medical field or aerospace use PEEK in their applications, for things such as tubes, for its high-performance properties. In a lot of oil and gas companies, PEEK is used in sealing systems and casings for instruments used in harsh environments. It is also more widely used to create things such as valves or pumping elements, for example.
PEEK in different markets
PEEK is used in several different markets due to its great capabilities. It’s one of the most reliable materials to print with, so it sees its application in industries that require great accuracy and strength. Below you will find some markets that are already using PEEK to further drive innovation in its fields.
The various extruded forms of PEEK, such as convoluted tubing and drawn fiber, can all be used as lightweight wire management products. For instance, a wire made with PEEK can provide an abrasion resistant wire coating over solid or braided conductors.
In the automotive industry, PEEK sees its application as a material for protecting wires. It can decrease the weight of wires, thus increasing fuel efficiency. PEEK can also increase electrical performance in order to power automobiles for electric generation.
PEEK extrusions are especially useful in the medical industry, due to its columnar stiffness and tight bend radius in thin walls. This helps maneuver catheters through a body’s pathways. PEEK is heat resistant, it does not rust and the body does not repel it. That is why it is often used to replace parts of the bone structure. You also will not be stopped at metal scanners in the airport anymore when replacing metal with PEEK, making traveling all the easier.
Tractus3D PEEK Printing
At Tractus3D, we see major possibilities in the 3D printing process of PEEK. It has the possibility to play a big part in the future inventions in the industry, as 3D printing makes it easier to incorporate it in several different things, without having to risk making a massive investment without it paying off. That is why we are very proud of our T650P; our very own high temperature 3D printer. It has a print volume of 18 centimeter in height by 18 centimeter in diameter.
Our T650P printer can get much hotter than our other printers, with a maximum nozzle temperature of 450 degrees Celsius and a bed temperature of 175 degrees Celsius. It is just as accurate and fast as our other printers, so you will never have to compromise just because you want to print high temperature materials. Of course you can print more than just PEEK with it, with a wide range of suitable materials such as PLA, ABS, PEI/Ultem™, POM and many more.