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7 Reasons to Consider PEEK Thermoplastic Parts

PEEK Thermoplastic Compressor Parts - KB Delta

There are several reasons why you should consider PEEK Thermoplastic for parts despite the wide range of materials you can choose from, here are 7 of the most popular reasons.

PEEK, for instance, takes it one step further by ensuring that your thermoplastic parts can stand the test of time and are not easily inflammable.

But more about that later.

So, why should you give PEEK thermoplastic your utmost consideration?

Read on to find out!


What is PEEK Thermoplastic?

The acronym PEEK denotes Polyetheretherketone, an organic polymer that is classified under the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family ((PEK, PEEK, PEEKK, PEKK, PEKEKK).

PEEK is a colorless semicrystalline thermoplastic that is notable for its excellent properties such as chemical resistance and mechanical strength, both of which are retained to high temperatures, up to 260 C (480 F).

For this reason, it is a high-performance plastic which has found use cases in engineering where it can be used to coat wire and cable, as well as molded parts.


The properties of PEEK include its superior tensile strength 90 to 100 MPa, Young modulus of 3.6 GPa, high glass transition temperature (Tg) around 143 C (289 F), high melting point (Tm) of 343 C (662 F), and high continuous service temperature, up to 260 C.

Furthermore, this thermoplastic has a high resistivity to thermal degradation and the same can be said about organic and aqueous environments.

Nonetheless, PEEK still has a limitation because it can completely dissolve in concentrated sulfuric acid at room temperature and at high temperature, it is attacked by halogens and strong acids.


Application of PEEK

PEEK is used in applications where thermal, chemical and combustion properties are critical to performance. As such, it has replaced aluminum, brass, and steel fasteners in some cases.

The robust nature of PEEK has led to its use in demanding and ultra-high vacuum applications.

For demanding applications, its uses are not limited to:

For its extensive use in ultra-high vacuum applications, it includes:

  • Medical
  • Electrical
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Chemical process industries


Reasons to Consider PEEK Thermoplastic

There are several reasons to choose PEEK over other polymers especially when it comes to the design of the parts.

Before we point them out to you, it is needful to know some of the beneficial properties of PEEK which makes it a good option to be settled with, in the first place.

These beneficial properties include:

  • Biocompatible
  • Inherent purity
  • High mechanical strength
  • High vacuum applications
  • Good dimensional stability
  • Superior chemical resistance
  • Exception insulation properties
  • Superior wear & friction resistance
  • Superior resistance to gamma and X-rays

Now that you know what you stand to gain through the use of this material, let’s show you why you should consider PEEK thermoplastic for parts.


PEEK Properties in Compressor Parts - KB Delta


1. Lightweight and Toughened Thermoplastic:

Admittedly, the PEEK polymer is expensive to process in comparison with other thermoplastics, however, it features great properties that will aid in the manufacturing of lightweight and toughened plastics.

As a result, these are able to survive longer even in harsh environments.

But that’s not all.

In cases where the material is also required to survive high loadings for a long time at high temperature and without any permanent deformations, PEEK becomes the right choice.

This is because it exhibits excellent creep resistance coupled with tensile and flexural properties.


2. Long Life Span:

Utmost consideration has to be given to PEEK because it is a durable plastic material that can ensure the long life span of these parts that are made with it.

PEEK is has a low friction characteristic and excellent stress cracking resistance. Thus, it is less susceptible to wear in comparison to parts that are formed using metal.

It may be lighter than metal, but it is just as hard. In the end, you would’ve saved the cost of replacing parts while also having thermoplastic parts that stand the test of time.

Moreover, PEEK is a good option for its ability to retain its mechanical properties at high temperatures without being susceptible to:

  • Fatigue
  • Chemicals
  • Wear
  • Creep


3. Recyclable Plastic:

PEEK is a recyclable plastic and as such, thermoplastic parts designed using it are also fully recyclable.

This ensures that if they have served the purpose they were intended, they can still be put to good use in other areas.

As a result, this prevents wastage and degrading of the environment with these parts.

It is also worthy to note that it could potentially serve as another stream of income for a company if the already used parts are resold to other companies.


4. Reduces the Potential for Hazard:

The use of PEEK material has an advantage of reducing hazard if in any case there is a fire outbreak.

This is because PEEK is a fire-retardant. This can be linked to its low smoke and toxic gas emission when exposed to flame.

As a consequence, you can be sure that your parts won’t burn down completely due to an unforeseen event.


5. Performs Well in Water and Chemicals:

PEEK material is known for its hydrolytic stability under superheated steam, hot water, solvent, and chemicals.

Let’s take steam, for example, after being exposed to the latter for several hours, this polymer material can still retain 100% of its mechanical properties.

That being the case, the parts that are made with it will not face molecular deterioration easily when used in water and a good number of chemical environments.

On the contrary, it tends to become soluble with time when used in concentrated sulfuric acid, nitric acid, or and halogenated organic solvents such as chlorobenzene even though it is comforting to know that it cannot be destroyed by any other compound asides from the latter.


6. PEEK offers Long-term Operating Reliability:

Irrespective of the fluctuating range of pressure, frequency, and temperature, PEEK thermoplastic ensures that the material, in question, has long-term operating reliability.

For instance, Polyetheretherketone can be subject to pressures as high as 25,000 psi and temperatures up to 260 C.

Similarly, its thermal properties ensure that it can withstand elevated temperatures especially those that are linked with soldering processes.

In other words, all the beneficial properties of this material will still be present at extreme temperatures.


7. Injection Molded Into Parts:

PEEK can be injection molded into parts whose specifications are strict.

These are parts that do not require oil for their seamless operation and for this reason, they have found use cases in the medical and food processing fields. In the medical field especially, it becomes so important to ensure the quality and durability of the products being used.

The highly sensitive nature of fields like this demands the use of materials that do not prove hazardous or pollute. Plastic also forms a part of the different medical waste types, which is why it is necessary to properly dispose of it once used. So, recyclable PEEK plastics should be one of the top contenders for medical use.


PEEK has several favorable characteristics including:

  • Good load bearing capability
  • Thermal stability
  • Wear-resistance
  • High resistance to hydrolysis

This, therefore, means its use for thermoplastic parts is highly beneficial.

Thus, if you’re in need of parts that can be relied upon for an extensive period of time and you’re also faced with several options as an equipment manufacturer, you will do well to consider the PEEK thermoplastic for compressor parts.

It may require a considerable amount of time to be created and a high cost, but in the long run, its benefits make it entirely worth it and even more.


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