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Exploring the Revolutionary Applications of PEEK Plastic Material: A Comprehensive Overview of PEEK Material Application in Various Industries

The demand for high-performance materials has increased in recent years, driven by technological advancements and a need for superior properties in various industries. One such material that has gained significant attention is Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) plastic. With its unique combination of exceptional mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties, PEEK has become a game-changer in multiple sectors.

peek material application

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the revolutionary applications of PEEK plastic material across different industries. From aerospace and automotive to medical and electronics, we will explore how this versatile material transforms these sectors with its remarkable performance capabilities.

The Versatility of PEEK Plastic Material

PEEK plastic is known for its outstanding versatility and exceptional properties. Let’s delve into some key characteristics that make it an ideal choice for various applications:

  1. High-Temperature Resistance: One of the standout features of PEEK plastic is its ability to withstand extreme temperatures. It can operate continuously at temperatures up to 260°C (500°F) without losing its mechanical properties or degrading chemically.
  2. Mechanical Strength: PEEK exhibits impressive mechanical strength and stiffness, making it suitable for demanding applications where structural integrity is crucial.
  3. Chemical Resistance: This material is excellently resistant to chemicals such as acids, bases, solvents, fuels, and radiation exposure.
  4. Low Friction Coefficient: With a low friction coefficient comparable to that of lubricated metals like steel or brass, PEEK reduces wear and tear while improving the efficiency of moving parts.
  5. Biocompatibility: Due to its biocompatible nature, PEEK is ideal for medical applications where compatibility with human tissues is vital.
  6. Electrical Insulation Properties: PEEK is widely used in electrical and electronic applications due to its high dielectric strength and low moisture absorption.

With these remarkable properties, it’s no wonder that PEEK plastic is widely used in various industries. Below, we’ll explore some of the revolutionary applications of this material.

Aerospace Industry: Lightweight Solutions for Enhanced Performance

The aerospace industry demands lightweight materials to withstand extreme conditions and improve fuel efficiency. PEEK plastic has emerged as an excellent choice for various aerospace applications:

  1. Aircraft Interiors: PEEK’s ability to meet stringent flammability standards makes it a preferred material for aircraft interiors. It is used in seating systems, ducting, insulation panels, and cabin interiors.
  2. Engine Components: With its high-temperature resistance and mechanical strength, PEEK is employed in engine components like seals, gaskets, thrust washers, bearings, and compressor parts.
  3. Aircraft Structural Parts: PEEK’s lightweight nature reduces weight in aircraft structural parts without compromising strength or durability.

Automotive Industry: Advancing Performance and Efficiency

In the automotive sector, where performance and efficiency are paramount concerns, PEEK plastic offers several advantages:

  1. Engine Components: Similar to aerospace applications, PEEK is used in various engine components such as piston rings, valve seats/inserts, connectors/seals for turbochargers, and exhaust systems due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and chemical resistance.
  2. Electrical Systems: Electric vehicles are becoming more popular globally due to their eco-friendly nature, and the demand for reliable electrical systems is also increasing. Thanks to its excellent electrical insulation properties and resistance against thermal degradation under high voltage conditions, PEEK has become an ideal choice for connectors/plugs within these systems.
  3. Interior Applications: In vehicle interiors where weight reduction is crucial without compromising safety or aesthetics, manufacturers utilize the lightweight yet robust characteristics of PEEK for components such as seat frames, door handles, and dashboard parts.

Medical Sector: Transforming Healthcare Solutions

PEEK plastic has revolutionized the medical industry with its exceptional biocompatibility and sterilization compatibility. Here are some notable applications:

  1. Orthopedic Implants: PEEK’s biocompatible nature, strength, and radiolucency make it an ideal material for orthopedic implants such as spinal cages, joint replacements, and trauma fixation devices.
  2. Dental Applications: PEEK is used in dental prosthetics like crowns and bridges due to its excellent esthetics, durability, resistance to wear against natural teeth, and biocompatibility with oral tissues.
  3. Surgical Instruments: The lightweight nature of PEEK, combined with its chemical resistance, makes it a preferred choice for surgical instruments that require autoclaving or repeated sterilization cycles.
  4. Medical Devices: From catheters and pacemaker components to drug delivery systems and diagnostic equipment housings, PEEK enables the development of advanced medical devices that meet stringent regulatory requirements while enhancing patient care.

Electronics Industry: Enabling Technological Innovations

In the ever-evolving electronics industry, where miniaturization is critical, PEEK plays a crucial role in enabling technological innovations:

  1. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs): With their excellent electrical insulation properties and high-temperature resistance, PEEK is used as PCB substrates, providing stability under extreme conditions while ensuring signal integrity.
  2. Connectors/Plugs: Due to their high dielectric strength and chemical resistance, PEEK connectors/plugs help maintain reliable electrical connections in electronic devices, even in harsh environments or when exposed to aggressive substances.
  3. Insulation Components: In power electronics applications with critical thermal management, PEEK insulating materials help dissipate heat effectively while providing electrical insulation between circuit board components.

PEEK plastic has emerged as a revolutionary material that is transforming various industries by providing exceptional performance capabilities across different sectors. Its unique combination of mechanical strength, chemical resistance, thermal stability, biocompatibility, and electrical insulation properties have made it indispensable in aerospace engineering, automotive manufacturing, medical advancements, and electronics innovations. From reducing weight and improving fuel efficiency in aircraft and automobiles to enhancing patient care with biocompatible orthopedic implants and medical devices, PEEK plastic continues to push the boundaries of what is possible.

As industries continue to evolve and demand increasingly high-performance materials, PEEK will undoubtedly play a vital role in driving innovation and finding new applications. With its versatility, reliability, and remarkable properties, PEEK plastic has become a game-changer that opens up new possibilities for technological advancements across multiple sectors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: What are the advantages of using PEEK plastic over other materials?
    A: PEEK offers advantages such as high-temperature resistance, exceptional mechanical properties, chemical resistance, low friction coefficient, biocompatibility, and electrical insulation. These qualities make it ideal for various industries requiring superior performance.
  2. Q: Is PEEK plastic environmentally friendly?
    A: PEEK plastic is considered environmentally friendly as it can be recycled and reused multiple times without losing its performance properties. Additionally, its lightweight nature contributes to fuel efficiency in transportation applications.
  3. Q: How does PEEK compare to metal alloys regarding weight reduction?
    A: Compared to metal alloys like steel or aluminum, PEEK plastic reduces weight while maintaining strength and stiffness. This makes it attractive for industries seeking lightweight solutions without compromising performance.
  4. Q: Can PEEK withstand sterilization processes used in medical applications?
    A: One of the remarkable features of PEEK is its ability to withstand repeated sterilization cycles commonly employed in medical applications such as autoclaving or ethylene oxide sterilization.
  5. Q: Is PEEK suitable for high-frequency electronic applications?
    A: Absolutely! The excellent electrical insulation properties and low dielectric loss tangent make PEEK a preferred material for high-frequency electronic applications where signal integrity is crucial.
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PEEK: A High-Temperature Material for Seals and Gaskets in Automotive Construction

The automotive industry constantly evolves by introducing new technologies designed to improve safety, comfort, and performance. One such technology that has garnered significant attention recently is using high-temperature materials for seals and gaskets. These materials play a critical role in ensuring that engines perform optimally by preventing leakage while providing excellent resistance to heat, wear, and creep. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) has emerged as a leading choice among these high-temperature materials due to its superior properties.


PEEK is a thermoplastic material with unique properties that make it suitable for automotive construction. The material exhibits excellent mechanical strength, dimensional stability at high temperatures, chemical resistance, and electrical insulation properties. PEEK also has remarkable resistance against wear and creep, making it an ideal material for applications where durability is essential.

PEEK Automotive Seals

One primary application of PEEK in automotive construction is the development of seals used in internal combustion engines. The sealing rings used in engines are critical as they prevent fluids from leaking out and keep contaminants from entering sensitive engine parts. Sealing rings must withstand extreme temperatures generated by combustion while maintaining their shape and sealing ability.

PEEK-based seals have been found to provide exceptional leakage stability at high temperatures, making them ideal candidates for sealing rings in internal combustion engines. In addition, PEEK-based seals exhibit low friction coefficients, which help reduce energy consumption during operation.

Automotive Cylinder Head Gasket

Another application is the development of cylinder head gaskets which require good heat resistance and wear behavior due to their proximity to hot engine components such as cylinders and exhaust systems. Cylinder head gaskets must withstand extreme temperatures without degrading or losing their ability to seal off different chambers within the engine block.

A compound based on PEEK combined with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) has been developed specifically for cylinder head gasket applications, with good results recorded so far. This material has been found to have good resistance against heat, wear, and tear while also exhibiting excellent replaceability. Using the PEEK-PTFE compound in cylinder head gaskets eliminates the risk of contact corrosion which is a significant concern when using traditional metal gaskets that can cause damage when they come into contact with other engine components.

The benefits of using PEEK-based materials in automotive construction are numerous and significant. For instance, using seals and gaskets can help improve engine performance by reducing energy consumption due to their low friction coefficients. PEEK-based materials also require less maintenance than traditional metal seals and are prone to corrosion and wear.

In conclusion, using high-temperature materials such as PEEK in automotive construction represents a significant technological advancement with immense potential for improving vehicle performance and reliability. PEEK-based seals and gaskets have been found to provide exceptional leakage stability at high temperatures, making them ideal candidates for use in internal combustion engines. Cylinder head gaskets based on a compound consisting of PEEK and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) have shown great promise as they offer good resistance against heat, wear, and tear while exhibiting excellent replaceability properties.

by Sara McCaslin, PhD Sara McCaslin, PhD No Comments

Injection Molded and Machined PEEK Components

PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a high-performance thermoplastic available in various grades to suit a wide variety of applications. It is commonly used in bushings, medical implants, gears, gaskets, and more. However, what one of the aspects of PEEK that makes it stand out from other engineering polymers is that it can be machined or injection molded, making it suitable for the manufacture of an even more diverse group of components.

PEEK Components

There are a number of different types of parts and applications where machined or injection molded PEEK are used. These include …

It is also a common material in a variety of industries, including …

  • Oil & gas
  • Renewable energy
  • Nuclear energy
  • Chemical processing
  • Food & dairy
  • Medical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Transportation
  • Electronics (including semiconductors)
  • Aerospace

PEEK: High Performance Polymer

PEEK is both stiffer and stronger than most plastics, retaining its mechanical strength even at high temperature. It also provides key characteristics such as dimensional stability, excellent wear resistance, and hydrolytic stability. It is also known for having a low coefficient of friction, self-lubrication, and a very low tendency to form stress cracks. PEEK also provides very good chemical resistance and is insoluble in most solvents. In addition, it provides both environmental and regulatory benefits because it is fully recyclable. Furthermore, PEEK lends itself to various processing methods.

PEEK is available in FDA-approved grades as well as implantable grades, where its biocompatibility makes it highly desirable for medical applications. In addition, PEEK grades are available that can handle gamma radiation exposure and even autoclaving as part of sterilization processes. It is ideal for very harsh, high temperature environments, including those found in the petrochemical industry and aerospace. Its low particle generation and outgassing make it well adapted to applications involving semiconductors where high purity is critical.

Fillers can also be added to PEEK to improve properties such as abrasion resistance, surface hardness, and friction. Common fillers include glass, carbon, and graphite fibers as well as PTFE and silicon dioxide. Glass fibers can increase compressive strength and enhance heat resistance while carbon and graphite fibers reduce weight while increasing overall strength. Adding PTFE to PEEK further reduces friction while silicon dioxide can be used to increase strength.

Injection Molded PEEK

Injection molding involves raising the temperature of a polymer to the point where it almost melts, which allows it to be injected under high pressure into a mold. Once the polymer has cooled, the components are removed from the mold and typically require minimal post-processing to prepare them for use.

Injection molding PEEK is much cheaper than machining for larger  production runs around 10,000+ components, and is a near-net-shape manufacturing method that results in minimal waste. It works extremely well when parts are needed that are too complex to machine efficiently. The most costly aspect of injection molding lies in the design and execution of the molds required; however, depending on the size of the part and the machine used, multiple parts can be injection molded with a single die.

When used in connection with PEEK, injection molding is often used to manufacture a replacement for metal bushing. Injection molded PEEK bushings can be found in various applications, including …

  • Citrus processing, where exposure to the acids in the fruit can lead to chemical compatibility issues
  • Pumps used in harsh environments that include aggressive chemicals and high temperatures
  • Applications where the presence of vibration accelerates wear

Note, however, that injection molding PEEK involves very high processing temperatures that not all facilities are equipped to handle. In addition, to achieve reliable part fabrication, there are certain cooling requirements that must be met to prevent issues such as warping and annealing may be required to eliminate residual stresses. Injection molding is also limited in its capabilities when there is a need for high precision parts or large parts.

Machined PEEK

Machining using cutting and grinding tools to remove unwanted material from a solid blank in order to produce the desired component. Most facilities use CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machining, which ties in well with CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) that allows a part to be first designed on a computer and then machined using tools that are computer controlled.

Machining is typically used when dimensions need to be extremely precise, the geometry of the PEEK component does not lend itself to injection molding, thin walls are needed, or the desired components are relatively large.

Machining is also more economical when a short production run (<5,000) is involved, which means it is also ideal for developing prototypes. It is faster than injection molding because there is no significant upfront time required for tooling such as molds / dies. In addition, machined PEEK parts usually have much better wear and mechanical properties than injection molded PEEK. And, unlike many thermoplastics, PEEK is easy to machine. Machining also works extremely well for achieving thin walls and fabricating parts with non-standard dimensions or shapes.

There are several industries that make use of machined PEEK components, including …

  • Oil and gas industry, where large PEEK bushings are often required
  • Medical applications where an FDA-approved material must be combined with high precision, customized parts
  • Arctic wind turbines, which require large bushings that can handle the aggressive environment 

Machining can be challenging when working with a filled grade of PEEK and not all machining companies have the skills and knowledge needed to fabricate a machined PEEK component. Finally, annealing may be needed to stress relieve machined parts.


For PEEK parts with a short production run that require a short lead time, machining works extremely well. It is also recommended when there is a need for thin walls or extreme tolerances. On the other hand, high-production volumes will benefit from the lower costs involved with injection molding. 

Advanced EMC has the skill and equipment needed for precision machining and injection molding of PEEK components. To learn more about what we have to offer or to get advice on which process would work best for your application, contact us today.