Polyether ether ketone (aka PEEK) has a reputation of being one of the most robust thermoplastic materials in common industrial usage. From solid parts to applied coatings, PEEK finds applications in industries as diverse as health care, oil production, nuclear power, food processing, chemical manufacturing, material transport, and more. In addition to its physical strength and robustness, much of what gives PEEK its usefulness is its resistances to chemicals and heat. In the following sections, we will explain how PEEK performs in various scenarios, and provide some practical examples of end-use applications and PEEK coating resistances.
PEEK shows a remarkable resistance to the vast majority of bases, acids, biological materials, and petrochemicals. In fact, PEEK is often contrasted with PTFE when discussing chemical resistance, and it compares quite positively with that almost entirely inert material. However, PEEK will begin to break down if left in room-temperature sulfuric acid.
PEEK’s strong resistance to a wide range of chemicals has given it an important place in numerous industries. You’ll find it in diverse applications such as the beaters in food processing plants, and the seals in the downhole areas on oil production sites.
Heat and Temperature Resistances
PEEK begins to crystallize at about 143 °C (289 °F) and can hold up to regular operating temperatures as high as 260 °C (500 °F). PEEK only begins to melt at 343 °C (662 °F), placing it high on the heat-resistance scale for thermoplastics. This is why oil production sites employ PEEK insulation and seals in areas that typically produce a lot of heat. PEEK parts often get used in aerospace applications that must manage rapidly changing temperature extremes.
Physical, Abrasion, and Scratch Resistances
One great advantage of PEEK is that it’s extremely difficult to damage, deform, shear, split, or damage. Unlike other thermoplastics, PEEK holds up under repeated, regular strain and tends to not degrade into tiny particles, develop notches, or snap. That makes it an ideal coating for businesses that must safeguard wires or cables (e.g., medical devices, fiber optics), as well as manufacturing production (e.g., belts, rollers, molds, bearings).
Moisture and Steam Resistances
In addition to resisting the harsh effects of most kinds of chemicals, PEEK won’t degrade when exposed to water or steam. This makes PEEK a natural fit with many kinds of manufacturing, as well as pure-water transport and storage. Additionally, the fluid management industries — which may either refer to services reserved for marine and refining industries— can benefit from PEEK fabrications and coatings.
UV, Beta Ray, and X-ray Resistances
While PEEK will slowly degrade when exposed to UV radiation, it excels at blocking gamma and beta radiation, as well as X-ray. No wonder that PEEK is used for linings in nuclear power reactors.
Slip, Non-stick, and Lubricity Properties
PEEK displays excellent lubricity, meaning that its generally smooth and uniform surface provides minimal friction. This makes it appropriate for automobile manufacturers, aerospace manufacturers, and chemical applications that employ high-performance liquid chromatography. Note that PEEK isn’t necessarily non-stick on its own, but some formulations include other non-stick substances that compliment PEEK’s robustness.
Contact Orion Industries for your PEEK Coating Needs
Our customers choose Orion Industries for our commitment to quality, excellent service and exceptional turnaround times. Above all, our commitment to continuous innovation and the quality of our coatings and their applications sets us apart. Contact us today to speak with a technical consultant to learn more about PEEK coating resistances or talk about your project.