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PEEK (PolyEtherEtherKetone) maintains its mechanical properties up to 250°C and is resistant to a wide range of chemicals. This makes it the ideal performance polymer for challenging operating environments. PEEK is commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries to produce tubing, seals, bearings and brackets. Before printing the material has tensile strength of 105MPa, flexural modulus of 3.9GPa and Impact Strength (Notched Izod) of 5kj/m^2. The values for printed parts will vary due to the shape, structure and infill. Parts can be annealed after printing. 3D4Makers PEEK is particularly suitable for 3D printing as it does not come into contact with water during production, keeping the moisture level low.
PEEK is an advanced high temperature thermoplastic and as such it is more difficult to print. A nozzle temperature of 400°C is required along with a bed temperature of 120°C. A heater chamber is also desirable to avoid warping of the printed parts however this is not required. High temperature BuildTak provides good adhesion for PEEK but will deteriorate more quickly than standard BuildTak due to the printing temperature. The bed must be carefully levelled and the correct distance from nozzle to bed, 300-400 microns with a 300 micron first layer height, should be set to prevent nozzle clogging due or melting of the BuildTak. A raft is generally used to print PEEK as this is easier to remove from the bed than a flat bottomed part. The filament should be stored in a moisture free environment as moisture will severely affect print quality. If bubbling occurs when extruding, noticable by auidible crackling, then the filament moisture level is too high. Dry the filament at 150 °C for 3-4 hours. PEEK can be annealed after printing to improve part properties.