material peek

WHAT IS PEEK

PEEK is a technopolymer with the full name: Polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK). It is a thermoplastic, semi-crystalline polymer, which allows it to be technologically advanced. The mechanical and chemical characteristics of this material allow it to work at very high and very low temperatures.

It is also very versatile as it can be applied to various fields: medical, aerospace and dental prosthetics.

MEDICAL USES OF PEEK

Due to its significant tensile strength and the degree of purity required in medical applications, PEEK is suitable for the creation of machinery of significant health importance. In fact, it is a material of more than valid use in this field, given its biocompatible structure for contact with skin and tissue.

It is used, for example, in the construction of radial blowers for breathing equipment under anaesthesia.

From the beginning of the 21st century, PEEK began its path of use as an implantable biomaterial, playing a leading role in the creation of spinal fixators capable of stabilising the spinal column and providing a valuable aid in counteracting degeneration of the vertebrae themselves.

This polymer can also be used for the reduction of serious bone fractures. Researchers have amply demonstrated the possible use of this material to create indestructible hip prostheses; in fact, the prosthesis in question is able to do its job in a lubricated state and without producing debris.

As far as the field of orthopaedic surgery is concerned, it goes without saying that this innovative material is an excellent substitute for titanium and stainless steel.

The combination of PEEK and advanced technology would therefore make it possible to overcome certain limits in the medical field, which are provided by the use of other materials. There are still many studies being conducted on this material that have been extended to the field of general healthcare. As its validity has already been demonstrated several times, experts believe that we will soon be able to fully understand all its possible uses.

USES IN AEROSPACE:

Among polymers with high thermal performance, PEEK is by far the most chemically resistant, making it an excellent substitute for metal alloys for aerospace applications. In addition to meeting the characteristics of resistance and dimensional stability to electromagnetic radiation, this material is very light, weighing half that of the most common aluminium alloys used in this sector.

The latter feature brings the major advantage of being able to reduce the overall weight of the aircraft while maintaining performance.

By using PEEK as a material for the construction of various complex aircraft geometries, it is possible to increase capacity while reducing exhaust emissions. The potential of this material, combined with advanced moulding technologies, reduces assembly time and production costs on a large scale, ensuring greater reliability. In fact, today, the use of 3D printers enables the creation of innovative, lightweight, strong and therefore high-quality aerospace components.

PEEK affects industries such as this, replacing polyvinyl fluoride in thermal acoustic barriers and metal piping on every aircraft. It is virtually one of the most versatile materials ever created.

USES OF PEEK FOR DENTAL PROSTHETICS:

With the use of PEEK for the fabrication of dental prostheses, dentistry has found a more functional alternative to ceramic and metal. These appliances greatly reduce the possibility of inflammation due to metal, and also guarantee a longer service life.

Dental prostheses created through the use of this polymer also exhibit good shock absorption and mechanical behaviour, thus proving to be fully adaptable to all those complicated contexts that may occur during the use or manufacture of this type of device.

Such innovative dental implants are much studied in Hungary, where the focus is on the combination of fixed and removable dentures that allow the prostheses to be only slightly supported by the gums, leaving enormous freedom to the gums and allowing easy yet thorough cleaning of these appliances.

The removable part made of PEEK, the strength details of which we have already described, is designed to add prefabricated and customised teeth of the material of the same name, preventing the porcelain from breaking or chipping once and for all. The precision and tolerance of the components is guaranteed thanks to 3D moulding methods, whose technology prevents the formation of debris due to machining.

Finally, it is useful to consider the economic aspect: 3D printing allows for lower production and manual costs, making PEEK a great potential within everyone’s reach.

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