PEEK 3D Printing
High temperature filament
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.
- High impact resistance
- Hot air and fluid flow
- Environmental testing (*)
PEEK printing tips
@Craig: we will write them ourselves as this is difficult to find in research.
VIDEO WITH TIPS
PEEK is used in a number of applications that require equipment which can withstand extreme temperatures. Its temperature resistance can go up to 260 degrees Celsius. Peek can withstand corrosive fluids and gases as well as high pressures. It has a low moisture absorption, making it especially suitable for application in the medical industry.
While it’s true that PEEK has a high resistance to many things, there are some exceptions. At a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius, PEEK has a hard time resisting chlorine/bromide, fluorine, HF and HBr, concentrated sulfur and nitric acids, certain ketones and nitrobenzene.
Exposure to UV radiation can also cause degradation of the material. This can be prevented by adding a layer of pigment made of special soot particles. However, the flammability of PEEK is extremely low without the use of additives, while the smoke emission when it combusts is the lowest of all thermoplastics.
While PEEK certainly has a high price tag, it has some amazing capabilities that other materials simply don’t have. Therefore, it just might be worth using it!
Dielectric strength: neutral
Dimensional stability: low
Impact strength: very high
Durability: very high
Heat resistance: very high
Chemical resistance: very high
Flame retardant: yes
Water resistance: high
Wear resistance: very high
Glass transition temperature: 143 degrees Celsius
Melting temperature: 343 degrees Celsius
Decomposing temperature: not applicable
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 objects 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.
3D Printing Peek
Now that we have discussed the weaknesses of PEEK as a material, it is time to discuss its application in 3D printing. While you can print many amazing things with it, some universities and research institutes still have a number of issues when processing it. It is important to take these issues into account when deciding to print with PEEK so you know what you can expect.
For instance, black specs on your PEEK prints are a recurring problem for users. This can be caused due to a number of factors, of which one of them is the impurity of PEEK as a material. Aside from this, you rely on the your 3D printer parts to do their work properly. If your printer does not managing the printing process and temperatures properly, it can cause PEEK to spec as well. Tractus3D printer all have a closed chamber, so that the temperatures are managed properly.
Improper crystallization is also something that happens often when printing PEEK. If a part has brown discolorations on them instead of being beige, this is a sign of improper crystallization. Having different colors in different layers indicate that there was insufficient temperature control throughout the printing process. This again is kept under control by a closed chamber, which our printers have.
To get the best results while printer, you are advised to keep the 3D printer in a room with minimal temperature fluctuations. This means you should keep the 3D printer out of the sun and you should not place it in an area in which people sleep.
Print speed: the slower the better
Nozzle temperature: 360-400 degrees Celsius
Heated bed required: yes
Heated bed: 120 degrees Celsius
Closed chamber: necessary
When you are not 3D printing with PEEK, you should keep the material in a bag and stored in a cool, dry and dark place until you wish to use it again. By doing this, you will preserve the quality of the material.
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 T650-P; our very own high temperature 3D printer. It has a print volume of 18 centimeter in height by 18 centimeter in diameter.
Our T650-P 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.