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Polyether ether ketone, or PEEK, is a high-performance engineered polymer with excellent heat tolerance and one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any thermoplastic. This material can be used as an alternative to other materials such as aluminum, steel, glass, and other polymers. PEEK’s strength is complemented by its lubricity and high purity for demanding applications.
Our research, engineering, and production teams have developed a diverse collection of PEEK products to fuel innovation for applications in medicine, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We also have developed our Thermally Stable PEEK coating for fiber optics with extremely low attenuation throughout a range of 250 Celsius degrees. This rigid plastic is considered one of the highest performing materials of its kind in the world. PEEK’s considerable advantages as a material science solution are generating breakthroughs in many markets.
PEEK is replacing many metal parts allowing innovative applications with flexibility while reducing costs and weight for systems. In analytical applications, PEEK’s high burst pressure, purity, and chemical resistance assure that PEEK tubing will stand up to the pressures needed for critical laboratory work and not contaminate the results. In a biomedical setting, PEEK can be subjected to sterilization procedures such as autoclaving and gamma irradiation.
At Zeus, we can extrude PEEK into many forms such as multi-lumen, monofilament, and our ultra-thin walled Sub-Lite-Wall® tubing. We can also apply post-extrusion forming for a variety of demanding applications including heat forming, tipping, tapering, flaring, and flanging.
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Note: The information in the Zeus website, catalog, and other sources presents and discusses generally accepted properties for non-pigmented virgin polymer resins from which Zeus fabricates its line of extruded products. Actual properties may change due to processing method, resin grade, extruded dimensions, and other variables. It is the end user’s responsibility to fully evaluate and test the fitness of the product for their specific application.
Braiding – Our PEEK Drawn Fiber monofilament boasts excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance, tensile strength, and tenacity. This monofilament is a perfect braiding material for wire and cable sheathing and performs well in extreme temperatures up to 500 °F (260 °C). PEEK Drawn Fiber is also an alternative for catheter braiding reinforcement where metal is not suitable.
Critical Fluid Transfer – The chemical resistance, mechanical integrity, and high maximum temperature of PEEK make it ideal for critical fluid transfer where heat is a prime concern. PEEK can withstand exposure to a wide range of acids, bases, and solvents. PEEK’s high purity and ability to tolerate high burst pressures also make it an excellent choice for pharmaceutical, analytical, and biomedical applications to insure analyte fluids remain contaminant free. PEEK has become the gold standard in HPLC applications and can be sourced with inside diameters as small as 0.002″ (0.051 mm) and walls as thin as 0.0015″ (0.0381 mm) nominal.
Fiber Optics – Furcation tubing (also known as jacketing), is commonly used in fiber optics for protection of these fragile communication devices. PEEK easily slides over fiber optics without damaging the delicate fibers while decreasing strain and friction; PEEK does this without using additives or fillers. PEEK’s strength also makes it a perfect solution to secure fiber optics. Our Thermally Stable PEEK coating provides all of the beneficial qualities of PEEK plus extremely low attenuation over the length of the fiber and through a temperature span of more 250 Celsius degrees. PEEK can be formed into shapes and multi-lumens to allow multiple channels through which fibers can be inserted into a single outside diameter tubing. Zeus can also engineer the outer surface of this tubing to create channels along the inside diameter, outside diameter, or both.
General Industrial – PEEK’s durable nature makes it an ideal replacement for many other materials, including other plastics, where enhanced design ability is needed. PEEK tubing also can be formed post-extrusion for a variety of industry applications needing further customization. Heat forming, tipping, tapering, flaring, and flanging are available for our PEEK products.
Insulation – PEEK’s dielectric properties mean that wherever it is used, it also provides insulation in addition to physical and mechanical protection. PEEK products are rapidly replacing other plastics for electric motor insulation, particularly in SAGD (Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage) applications. In motors, PEEK Lay-Flat™ tubing has been used for slot liners and as phase insulation. Our PEEK Insulated Wire and PEEKShrink® are able to meet critical electric performance needs as cars are increasingly powered by electric motors.
Mandrel Coverings – PEEK’s ability to withstand extremes of temperature, pressures, chemical exposure, and physical wear and tear make PEEKshrink® the best choice for mandrel coverings on which to build components.
Replacement for Metal – PEEK’s superior strength-to-weight ratio allows engineers to think about replacing heavier metal parts with PEEK. PEEK’s ability to withstand physical and mechanical stress together with its heat tolerance and chemical resistance give this material many other advantages over metal parts. PEEK is widely used in the aerospace, automotive, and other general industrial settings for these qualities.
Wire Harness – PEEK is a good material for protecting and insulating wires while decreasing weight and increasing fuel efficiency. PEEK convoluted tubing serves as a flexible conduit to collect wires and bundles making them more manageable. PEEK tubing also protects the covered items from physical trauma and abrasions. PEEKshrink™ is particularly applicable to support wire splicing in addition to the insulation and protection it provides. PEEK and PEEKshrink™ wire harness applications are extensive in the automotive and aerospace industries and are easily adaptable in many other areas.
Wire Splicing –PEEKshrink™ heat shrink provides great electrical insulation and chemical resistance; these attributes make it an excellent splicing aid whether for designed purposes or repairs made in the field.
Convoluted Tubing – This tubing contains multiple convolutes in series resulting in a highly flexible and maneuverable tubing material. Commonly called flexible conduit, this tubing is used as protective covering for wires and fiber optics in critical areas of aerospace, automotive, and general industrial applications where flexibility, clarity, and performance are key. Zeus PEEK convoluted tubing can withstand continuous temperatures up to 500 °F (260 °C).
Custom Profiles – We excel in the production of tight-tolerance custom profiles for our extruded products. From standard products such as guide rail covers to ultra-precise extruded profiles for minimally invasive surgical devices, we have developed the technology to bring unique extruded profiles from concept to reality. Our other custom PEEK profiles include engineered surface tubing and splines.
Extruded Tubing – This dynamic and high performing thermoplastic exhibits toughness, high temperature tolerance, and exceptional chemical resistance making it suitable for use almost anywhere. PEEK tubing can be used to protect its contents from abrasion and mechanical stresses as well as providing insulating properties for electrical applications. Where weight is a concern, PEEK is being used to replace heavier metal parts in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Multi-Lumen – As multi-lumen tubing, this PEEK product contains numerous lumens, or “passages,” to create multiple working channels that run the length of the tubing. Multi-lumen tubing is widely used in medical devices such as catheters as well as in electronic devices and fluid handling applications. Zeus manufactures multi-lumen tubing with tight tolerance capabilities and high quality standards.
PEEK Drawn Fiber – PEEK Drawn Fiber is a perfect material from which to form a braided sleeve that is expandable and flexible for protecting wires and hoses. This high tensile strength and lightweight material exhibits superior friction and wear properties when used in abrasive environments. PEEK is also commonly utilized in medical settings for catheter braiding to provide structural reinforcement where metals are not preferred.
PEEK Insulated Wire – Also known as magnet wire, our PEEK Insulated Wire results from the extrusion of PEEK over a wide range of solid conductors and conductors in stranded forms such as copper wire. This wire is specifically aimed for use in challenging environments such as oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, and electrical industries. Zeus PEEK magnet wire delivers superior abrasion resistance and the ability to withstand intense burdens and exposure to caustic fluids. For some applications, little or no varnish is required.
PEEK Lay-Flat™ Tubing – This product is tubing that is pressed flat and delivered spooled onto rolls or cut to length. Lay-Flat tubing provides a seamless flattened tubing with extremely thin walls and flexibility. PEEK Lay-Flat™ tubing provides strength, lubricity, chemical inertness, and biocompatibility. Our PEEK Lay-Flat™ is also utilized for its insulating capabilities as slot liners and phase insulation for motors.
PEEKshrink™ – This heat shrinkable material provides all of the benefits of PEEK in a shrink-to-fit form. PEEKshrink™ encapsulation provides a layer of protection for sensitive components used in many applications including medical devices, electronics, telecommunications hardware, and oil exploration equipment. PEEK’s inherent purity, lubricity, and toughness make it an ideal choice for analytical and life sciences applications. PEEKshrink’s™ temperature tolerance also makes it particularly suited to wire splicing and wire harness applications used near engines or hot motor environments.
PEEK Sub-Lite-Wall® – Where exceptionally thin walls are required, our PEEK Sub-Lite-Wall® tubing is your best choice to meet this need. This custom order tubing is typically purchased for tubing requiring wall thicknesses < 0.004″ (0.102 mm). Thin-walled tubing is particularly important where space considerations are key such as within the interior of endoscopes or as heat shrink over wiring to allow greater packing.
- KEY PROPERTIES
Biocompatibility – PEEK’s chemical inertness means that it can safely exist in a biological setting. PEEK also tolerates several sterilization protocols.
Chemical Resistance – PEEK is highly resistant to almost all commonly encountered chemicals whether acids, bases, water, or hydrocarbons.
Excellent Purity – The highly pure character of PEEK means that virtually no chemicals will leach out of the tubing to contaminate the exterior of the tubing or its contents.
Exceptional Torsion Stability – The characteristic rigidness of PEEK means that this tubing transmits torsional or twisting force extremely well for applications that may require distal manipulation of the material or its contents such as wiring, fiber optics, or sensors.
Flame Resistant – PEEK tubing is safe to use at elevated temperatures, is flame resistant, and UL 94 V-0 compliant (1.45 mm thickness material).
High Burst Pressure – Tubing made with PEEK thermoplastic can withstand high burst pressures with respect to size and wall thickness. This quality enables smaller PEEK tubing to be used for such high pressure applications compared to other tubings.
High Strength-to-Weight – The light weight nature of PEEK plastics combined with their extensive beneficial properties enables PEEK tubing to be used in place of heavier components such as metal and even other plastics.
High Temperature Resistance – PEEK can safely operate at temperatures up to 500 °F (260 °C).
Impact and Wear Resistance – PEEK’s inert chemical nature plays a direct role in this fluoropolymer’s inherent toughness and mechanical properties. As a result, PEEK tubing and recovered heat shrink are extremely resistant to impacts, wear, and other physical trauma.
Sterilizable – PEEK easily tolerates several sterilization protocols including gamma irradiation and autoclaving. This material can even withstand more than 3000 autoclave cycles.
Thermoformable – As a thermoplastic, PEEK is very amenable to post-extrusion customizations such as heat forming, flaring, tipping, tapering, and flanging.