Peek Machining

PEEK plastic machined parts

The go-to plastic for machined parts in aggressive chemical environments, PEEK is a popular choice in the medical device world. PEEK plastic is stable and easy to machine, with good temperature and chemical resistance, making it suitable for most applications. However, if low cost is vital to the end-user, PEEK may lose its appeal. We’ll help you discover if PEEK is suitable for your plastic machining project and how you can expect it to perform.

Why PEEK?

The go-to plastic for machined parts in aggressive chemical environments, PEEK is a popular choice in the medical device world. PEEK plastic is stable and easy to machine, with good temperature and chemical resistance, making it suitable for most applications. However, if low cost is vital to the end-user, PEEK may lose its appeal. We’ll help you discover if PEEK is suitable for your plastic machining project and how you can expect it to perform.

Clarity and Color

The natural color for PEEK machining is tan, but black is also available. PEEK thin film can be translucent or clear when in an amorphous state.

Cost and Availability

PEEK sheets, rods, tubes, and films are widely available for machined parts as extruded products. PEEK plastic is available in an array of small diameter tubing products for carrying liquids and capable of high chemical resistance. Plate and rod are available in both metric (European) and imperial (US) sizes. Additionally, general-purpose machine grade, USP class 6 grade, and implant grade are available for PEEK parts.

PEEK plastic is a more expensive material than many of the other substances Controlled Fluidics uses. Initially, it was only available from Victrex with their unfilled resin number known as 450g. Presently, additional manufacturers are competing in the marketplace, which helps to improve the price point. Controlled Fluidics is always on the lookout for the best prices that don’t sacrifice any quality.

Machining PEEK Plastic

Many manufacturers choose PEEK plastic as a manifold material. It is resistant to most organic and inorganic chemicals, except for concentrated nitric and sulphuric acids. In addition, it offers very low moisture absorption and superior wear and abrasion resistance for longer-lasting products.

For heat-related applications, PEEK has one of the best continuous service temperatures at up to 425F without any permanent loss in physical properties. Constant exposure to hot liquid or steam does not affect the plastic as it can withstand extreme temperatures as well as unstable, abrasive materials. It does have a lower heat deflection temperature of 306F. A PEEK machined part is still functional in that range but will lose some of its strength due to softening. PEEK Optima’s walls can be made as thin as 0.0008 with tolerances to 0.0002.

Drawbacks of PEEK Plastic

Aside from its high cost, the main disadvantages of PEEK plastic are its low resistance to UV light and the need to process it at high temperatures. In medical applications, PEEK’s hydrophobic, nonpolar nature means it has rudimentary cell adhesion.

Uses for PEEK

Some varieties of PEEK plastic are made with pre-qualified biocompatible materials and are FDA approved, making them ideal options for life science applications. PEEK is one of the most common materials in the in-vitro diagnostic marketplace. It is one of the few biologically safe materials for continuous use in the human body.

We have some facts and recommendations for working with PEEK machined part designs.  

  • Manufacturers cannot bond PEEK plastic and will instead create manifolds through drilling only. 
  • PEEK is very stable and can achieve +/- .0005 tolerances. 
  • The overall surface finish of 32, typically porting to 16. 
  • Pay attention to intersecting holes for burrs. Proper tooling is critical for the component to serve its purpose. 
  • Stress-relieved parts are only necessary for exacting applications. PEEK plastic is not stress-sensitive. 
  • PEEK can have a mottled look, especially in the non-450g version. 
  • Sheet material comes + .030. Design parts to avoid the next size up as that increases cost. 
  • Peek has high tensile strength. Therefore, thread inserts are generally not necessary except for high assembly and disassembly situations. 

About Controlled Fluidics

Controlled Fluidics specializes in top-quality plastic bonding and custom plastic assembly products and expertise. Our precision plastic machining experience goes back to 1980, and expert engineers guide our experienced staff. Our complete commitment to creating the finest precision manifolds and plastic components, in addition to our response and delivery times, sets industry standards.

Established in 2011, Controlled Fluidics partners with clients to resolve precision plastic machining and manifold fabrication challenges. We thrive on developing ground-breaking technologies, and our experts are ready to assist you with your complex designs.

All we need to give you a quote is: 

  • The material needed for your project. Our experts are ready to help you choose the perfect elements. 
  • The volume of your order. 
  • Hole threading and any tolerances tighter than 0.005. 
  • Your optimal delivery date.

Take a look at these photos of our work to see some examples of our manufacturing capabilities. Contact us today!