No matter what industry you’re in, you have many different choices when it comes to the materials you choose to use. One might expect that every industry and application would require a different kind of material, but the truth is, there are some materials that are so versatile, they can be found in nearly every industry. PEEK plastics, and especially PEEK fasteners, are one of these versatile products.
The question is, what are PEEK fasteners, what makes them so versatile, and exactly how many industries use this innovative plastic material?
Exactly what are PEEK fasteners?
The PEEK material is also known as Polyetheretherketone. It is a semi-crystalline organic polymer thermoplastic that can easily be made into a wide variety of plastic fasteners, like plastic screws. This material has a very stable chemical structure, which can’t be found in many other plastics.
Peek material is completely colorless, and thanks to some of its properties, it can easily replace brass, aluminum, and steel fasteners. Only concentrated nitric or sulfuric acid can dissolve this material, and because it’s a plastic, it can easily be used to make a wide variety of materials that are unique to nearly every application.
What makes PEEK fasteners so versatile?
With so many choices when it comes to plastic materials and fasteners, there must be something really special about the PEEK product. There are a few different reasons why it is so versatile.
First, it is extremely chemical-resistant. As mentioned above, it can only be dissolved by nitric or sulfuric acid. Because it cannot be destroyed with any other compound, it is a good choice for countless applications.
Not only is it chemical-resistant, PEEK is also resistant to high temperatures. Many other plastics are compromised at high temperatures that don’t affect this durable plastic material. As a strong synthetic polymer, it is more resistant to various gasses than many other fasteners. It boasts a high hydrolysis resistance, which means prolonged exposure to high pressure water and steam won’t compromise the fastener either.
Chemical and temperature resistance is important, but PEEK fasteners can resist much more than that. They aren’t compromised by stretching or pulling, so although they are strong, they aren’t brittle. They are able to withstand abrasion as a result of day-to-day use. They are fire-resistant too. PEEK has a low heat release rate compared to many other conventional materials.
Which industries use PEEK fasteners?
After learning exactly what PEEK fasteners are and what makes them so versatile, it should come as no surprise that many different industries utilize this innovative material in a wide variety of applications.
Everyone has likely come across these fasteners at some point or another, whether they knew it at the time or not. That’s because they are often used in the aircraft and automotive industries due to their high fire-resistant and non-corrosive properties. Because they can replace traditional metal fasteners and screws, PEEK fasteners can even be used in engines.
The general public will find PEEK fasteners in the healthcare industry too. Because PEEK is flexible, durable, and strong, and because it doesn’t cause any harm to the body, it is used as an implant material. It’s even used to repair soft tissue, like skin grafts.
Dialysis pump filters also use this versatile material. A dialysis machine with a pump that malfunctions can cause serious problems, so a material that has high temperature resistance and low moisture absorption is important.
The food and beverage industry use PEEK fasteners for food and feed drying. The process of creating powders, pastes, and granules requires temperatures as high as 190 degrees Celsius, which these fasteners can easily handle.
The chemical and pharmaceutical industries use PEEK fasteners for the same reason the food and beverage industry does. In order to clean pharmaceutical equipment, such as centrifuges and disc filters, extremely high temperatures are needed. Vacuum belt filters use PEEK too. PEEK is a very good choice in the pharmaceutical industry because it is extremely durable and the possibility of contamination is low.
PEEK is popular in filter manufacturing. Biodiesel fuel filters are easily degraded when PA materials are used, but PEEK filters are not compromised by biodiesel. Membrane spacer-batteries often contain PEEK materials because they can have a thickness of 50 microns, which is much lower than the conventionally used polypropylene that has a thickness of 195 microns, not to mention, PEEK is acid- and chemical- resistant.
The possibilities are endless
Because PEEK fasteners are so versatile, many different industries have chosen to use them, but the possibilities are endless. As the demand for these innovative fasteners grows, we can all expect to see them pop up in even more industries and applications.