3D Printing with PEEK
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is widely regarded as one of the strongest thermoplastics on the market, offering a range of desirable mechanical properties as well as resistances to temperature and chemicals.
- Exceptional strength and stiffness, even at high temperatures
- High impact strength and dimensional stability
- Excellent long-term creep and fatigue properties
- Effective barrier to gases and liquids, with low permeation rates
- Superb wear and abrasion resistance
- Excellent strength to weight ratio
- Low outgassing material
- Maintains stiffness up to 170°C (338°F)
- Continuous service rating above 250°C (480°F)
- UL 94 V-0 flame-retardant polymer
- Very low smoke and gas emissions when exposed to flame
- Glass transition temperature of 145°C (293°F)
- Melting temperature of 341°C (645°F)
- Strong resistance to wide range of chemicals and solvents
- Resists hydrolysis from steam, water, and saline water
- Strong resistance to beta, gamma, and x-rays
- Lower resistance to UV radiation, with the exception of CF PEEK
When to Use PEEK for 3D Printing
Lightweight Metal Replacement
At half the weight of aluminum and one sixth the weight of steel, PEEK offers a lightweight option for applications the require the strength of many metals.
The Harshest Operating Conditions
Whether you’re looking for something to withstand the vacuum of space, the bottom of the ocean or the inside of a chemical reactor, PEEK can take most anything thrown at it.
Unparalleled Temperature Tolerance
From the near absolute zero temperatures of space, to temperatures nearly 3x above the boiling point of water, PEEK holds its shape and strength across a wide temperature range while also resisting flames.
Challenges with 3D Printing PEEK
Heated Build Chamber Required
Avoid 3D printing PEEK without a heated build chamber or you risk fabricating low-quality parts that suffer from warping, shrinkage and other artifacts of poor temperature control.
Larger Parts are Hard to Print
Ensure you are supported by the expertise necessary to print large, complex parts, since controlling the melt zones of PEEK parts is critical to preventing defects.
PEEK May Be Expensive
PEEK can be pricey, so consider choosing a printer that offers an open filament system that enables you to choose between material suppliers.