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PEEK Increasingly Popular

Polymer bushings have found widespread acceptance because they are typically low friction, light weight, relatively inexpensive, have an extended service life, and can be self-lubricating.  Most polymer bearings and bushings are made from a form of PEEK, PTFE, Nylon, or UHMW PE PEEK is becoming increasingly popular because it offers a good balance of chemical, heat, and wear resistance; and is, versatile when it comes to manufacturing.

PEEK-PTFE-Nylon-UHMW-Bushings-Bearings.jpg

Need more information? Check out these articles on PEEK, PTFE, NYLON AND UHMW from the popular Advanced EMC Technologies Blog 


 

Tribological Properties

Of special interest to those working with bushing and bearings, though, are its tribological properties.  As you recall, tribological properties are related to how two surfaces interact during relative motion.  Some of the most critical tribological properties for bearings and bushings include the dynamic coefficient of friction, limiting PV value, and the wear factor. 

The lower the K factor, the more resistant the material is to wear.  The K factor for PEEK is greater than that of PTFE and Nylon, but it offers other superior characteristics.

K-factor-wear-PEEK-PTFE-UHMW-Nylon-bearings-chart.jpg

For example, the limiting PV value of bearing grade PEEK is about the same as that of PTFE.

Bearing-PV-value-PEEK-PTFE-UHMW-Nylon-Chart.jpg

 

Thermal Properties

Friction results in heat, which can not only cause critical parts to heat up, but also to deform.  PEEK’s maximum service temperature of 482°F is comparable to that of PTFE at 500°F.  If a bearing or bushing is going to be exposed to high temperatures, or to varying temperatures, then the linear coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) should be as small as possible.

CTE-PEEK-PTFE-UHMW-Nylon-Bearings-Chart.jpg

That means that bearings and bushings made of PEEK aren’t subject to nearly as much thermal deformation as those made of PTFE, UHMW PE, or nylon.  In short, PEEK has a high maximum operating temperature combined with superior thermal stability.

 


CONCLUSION:

As you can see in the table below, bearing grade PEEK doesn’t have the lowest coefficient of dynamic friction or the lowest K factor, but offers a high limiting PV combined with superior thermal stability.  It remains an excellent option when selecting a material for a bushing or bearing.

bearing-materials-PEEK-PTFE-UHMW-Nylon.jpg

 

For more information DOWNLOAD  the Advanced EMC Technologies High Performance Bearings Material Chart.

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