PEEK, the superman of polymers. Currently one of the most popular high performance plastic materials on the market. In the polymer space, it would be tough to find something tougher than PEEK. It exhibits excellent mechanical and thermal properties, chemical inertness, creep resistance at high temperatures, very low flammability, hydrolysis resistance, and radiation resistance. These properties make PEEK popular in the aircraft, automotive, semiconductor, and chemical processing industries.
So naturally we wanted to extrude this bad boy. Ever since we started working on the NEXT 1.0 Filament Extruder it has been a goal to be able to extrude PEEK. Being able to successfully extrude this powerful polymer would mean our machine is a match for all polymers. Our intern Troy was put in charge of this exciting task: “it was hard to find the right temperature. Our first try was way too hot, the filament was not as sleek and smooth as it should be and it showed some heat damage.” Of course Troy wasn’t deterred that quickly and tried several times with different temperatures. “Eventually I found the right temperature that created perfect PEEK filament! Overall it was easier than expected. The bigger challenge now is finding good cleaning agent. It’s pretty powerful stuff, so getting all of the PEEK out of the machine has been an issue, but I am confident we will find a way.”
We were thrilled to have been able to produce perfect PEEK filament and are even more convinced off the sheer force the NEXT 1.0 has. Reaching this milestone has been a confirmation of our expectations and it has motivated us more than ever to finish this powerful product. Watch out polymers, we are coming for you!