If you have ever needed to create a product that requires a biocompatible consumable, you understand how hard that is to do.
Humans and animals consume many things. They generally need an additive, such as medical devices, filters, and pipes.
It is no surprise, then, that materials play a crucial role in determining the usability of such devices. Polyether Ether ketone, or PEEK commonly known, has been used in such scenarios for years.
Given the high precision and quality of PEEK tubing, it has also found its way into many other applications. This article will highlight some of those uses and explain how PEEK use to make such applications possible.
Benefits of PEEK Tubing
PEEK tubing is strong and lightweight. It is highly resistant to corrosion, abrasion, thermal expansion, and contraction. It also maintains its strength even under a wide range of temperatures. The very low coefficient of friction makes it ideal for use in automated assembly processes.
It is cost-effective and easy to fabricate. Its flexibility allows for tight bends. As its demand increases, the understanding of the benefits it can bring to engineering and industrial applications will also increase.
Temperature and Chemical Resistance
PEEK tubing offers excellent durability when it comes to temperature and chemical resistance. PEEK tube is thermally stable up to 280°C, making it resistant to high temperatures. It also can withstand several chemicals, many of which would melt conventional thermoplastics.
It also has excellent abrasion resistance due to its complex and rigid nature and toughness. It makes it popular in aircraft fuel lines and medical tubing applications. Its low surface friction also means it can be easily connected or threaded.
Alternatives to PEEK Tubing
Rigid thermoplastics such as Acetal, Nylon, and UHMW are good alternatives to PEEK. These thermoplastics provide excellent stiffness, good chemical resistance, and lighter weight.
Fluoroplastics such as FEP, PFA, and ETFE provide good chemical and thermal resistance. And also can be quickly machined into complex shapes.
Other applications may need non-plastic tubing such as metals or composites. Metals such as aluminum, brass, and stainless steel provide excellent corrosion resistance. They are also stiff. At the same time, composites such as carbon fiber or Kevlar offer lightweight and high strength.
Disadvantages of PEEK Tubing
PEEK tubing can be a cost-effective choice for a variety of applications. But, it has disadvantages. It’s made of thermoplastic and sensitive to specific chemical agents. It is more expensive than other materials, such as PVC and PU. It is also more susceptible to damage from chemicals and UV radiation.
Also, it is less flexible than other tubing types, so it can be more challenging to fit and install. It may need some special equipment for installation and special seals, clips, and other components, which can add to the cost.
It is generally recommended for only some applications. Such as airtight seals or applications involving sterilization at high temperatures. It is also important to note that the tubing should not be directly connected to any thermal device as it’s at risk of melting.
Identifying High-Quality PEEK Tubing
When identifying high-quality PEEK tubing, look for a consistent inner diameter. It’s impact and pressure-resistant and has excellent dimensional stability.
Additionally, high-quality PEEK tubing should be free of unwanted contaminants. And meet strict specifications, such as ASTM standards.
Select a tube material that meets your requirements, as PEEK comes in various grades. Lastly, look for tubing with a manufacturer’s warranty, as this will give you peace of mind. Your order is covered, and that customer service will be there to help if needed.
Applications for PEEK Tubing
PEEK tubing is an ideal choice for high-pressure hydraulic and pneumatic applications. It can also handle higher operating pressures than most other materials. Uses for PEEK tubing include medical applications.
It is beneficial for pharmaceutical and laboratory sampling and analysis. It is also used in food and beverage processing, industrial pipework, and general plumbing.
In medical applications, PEEK is often used to replace the glass. It is due to its lightweight and flexible properties. Also, it is known for greater chemical resistance.
PEEK tubing is an excellent choice for harsh environments where long operating life and high performance are critical.
Installation and Maintenance
For the proper installation, PEEK tubing should be free of burrs and surface imperfections. It’s essential to pay attention to the tubing’s maximum temperature, pressure, and load limits. During installation, it’s necessary to ensure the tubing is clean and debris-free. Especially when connecting it to other equipment.
Maintenance is also essential to ensure efficient and long-lasting operation. During maintenance, there should be regular inspections for signs of wear or damage.
And it would help if you did any minor repairs before they develop into more severe problems. Proper lubrication is also crucial for maintaining the life of the tubing. It is because of its high resistance to chemicals and solvents.
A Reliable Tubing Solution
PEEK tubing is a lightweight, robust tubing solution with many advantages. Its low weight, comparable strength to steel, and chemical resistance make it reliable. It is also safe for various applications.
It’s an ideal material for high-temperature and chemically-challenging environments due to its strength and temperature resistance. With proper care and maintenance, PEEK tubing can be a reliable and durable part of your process.
With a wide variety of sizes and color options available, PEEK tubing is sure to meet the needs of any designer looking for a robust and reliable tubing solution. Check out our PEEK Tubing selection, or explore our other options!
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