PEEK (polyether ether ketone) is a special engineering plastic with excellent comprehensive performance. It is widely used in a variety of industrial fields, including aerospace, automotive, electrical and electronic and medical machinery. Due to its high-temperature resistance, self-lubricity and strong mechanical properties, it is a popular metal replacement material. It is also easier to process than traditional materials, enabling designers to create more intricate shapes and thinner-walled parts. It also has good chemical stability and can withstand multiple sterilization cycles without losing its mechanical properties. Its high melting point makes it resistant to cracking and deformation under intense heat, and it can be further modified with fillers such as glass fiber, carbon fiber, graphite and PTFE.
While PEEK offers a number of advantages, its high price and complex processing requirements have limited its use in many industries. This is particularly true for injection molding, where the plastic is injected under high pressure into a mold to form a part. This type of manufacturing requires specific equipment and procedures to ensure the quality of the molded product.
Injection molding is a relatively simple process, but it has some inherent risks. It is important to understand these risks so that you can minimize them and ensure the quality of your molded products.
There are several different types of injection molding, and each has its own unique set of requirements and benefits. For example, thermoset injection molding is a method of producing large-scale parts, and it is often used to produce automobile, aircraft and machine parts. Thermoplastic injection molding is another common type of injection molding, and it can be used to produce smaller parts.
The injection molding process can lead to a number of defects in your finished parts, such as cold spots, silver streaks, pores, weld lines and warpage. These defects can be caused by a number of factors, such as temperature fluctuations, improper injection pressure or a poorly designed mold. By ensuring that your parts are manufactured with the right equipment and by following injection molding design guidelines, you can help to reduce these problems and achieve better results.
A major problem with injection molding PEEK is that it has a very high melting point and therefore requires a very precise temperature control system. If non-PEEK materials are inserted into the injection mold during the injection process, they can degrade and leave behind dark specks in your final parts. To avoid this, it is recommended to dedicate your injection machine to PEEK only and to clean all of the components that come into contact with the polymer before beginning a production run. This includes the screw and barrel, nozzles and runners.
The injection molding process of PEEK can be challenging, but it is also highly rewarding for manufacturers who are able to overcome its unique challenges. By keeping these five tips in mind, you can ensure that your PEEK injection molding runs are successful and yield the best results possible.