Peek molding produces high-quality plastic parts from polyether ether ketone (PEEK). This engineering thermoplastic is well known for its superior mechanical and chemical properties. It’s used in many industries, including aerospace and automotive manufacturing. This is due to its thermal and chemical resistance, good dimensional stability, good strength, and excellent fatigue properties.
This semi-crystalline thermoplastic is a popular choice for injection molding. It can be modified with carbon fiber, graphite, or PTFE for increased wear resistance, machinability, and thermal conductivity. PEEK is highly resistant to chemicals and has a high glass transition temperature and melting point. It’s also able to withstand harsh environments, such as those found in oil and gas pipes or industrial machinery.
The best PEEK injection molds are designed for maximum part performance. This requires a thorough understanding of this material, its processing conditions, and the nuances of injection molding. While standard molds can be used for this high-performance plastic, it’s important to understand the special considerations that are necessary when working with peek.
To ensure successful molding, it’s important to dry the pellets well before starting the injection process. This helps to prevent moisture from contaminating the molded part and causing defects. It’s also important to use big gates and to keep the injection pressure high enough to achieve proper packing. This will reduce voids and sink marks. Shrinkage is a normal part of the injection molding process, but it can be minimized by using carbon fiber fillers or by keeping the injection pressure and holding pressure consistent.
Another crucial aspect to consider is that PEEK is anisotropic, which means that it shrinks in different directions. This must be taken into account when designing the injection mold, as it can result in warped parts or uneven surfaces. The best way to avoid this is by following injection molding design guidelines. This will help promote manufacturability, control costs, and minimize defects.
PEEK is a very expensive plastic, which can be a deterrent for some manufacturers. However, it offers several advantages that can offset the initial cost. These include its excellent fatigue resistance, which can withstand shock loads without breaking or cracking. This is a major advantage over other plastics, which can break or crack under similar conditions.
Injection molding is an efficient and cost-effective method for mass producing PEEK parts. It’s also highly durable, allowing for components to be reworked and reused. This makes it a more cost-effective solution than alternative materials, such as metals. PEEK is also highly corrosion-resistant and is able to withstand high temperatures, making it a great choice for applications in harsh environments. It can withstand steam and high-pressure water, which makes it ideal for oil and gas pipes, industrial machinery, and automotive engines. It also has good resistance to jet fuel, hydraulic fluids, and de-icers.