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PEEK vs. PTFE

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When it comes to manufacturing ball valves, bearings, and other electrical equipment components, we frequently mix up PTFE and PEEK. Despite the fact that they both belong to the same polymer family, they have distinct benefits and shortcomings. Today we will have a comparison with them.

What is Peek Material

PEEK, or Polyetheretherketone, is a high-performance thermoplastic polymer known for its exceptional chemical resistance, high temperature stability, and robust mechanical strength. Additionally, materials within the PSU (Polysulfone) or PES (Polyethersulfone) families share similar characteristics. PEEK exhibits low moisture absorption, making it dimensionally stable, and is biocompatible, suitable for certain medical applications. Commonly utilized in aerospace, automotive, electronics, and medical industries, PEEK and related materials like PSU or PES are chosen for applications requiring durability and superior performance in demanding environments.

What is PTFE

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer with exceptional qualities, including excellent chemical and temperature resistance, durability, and dielectric properties. Commonly known as Teflon, PTFE is widely used in everyday items such as cookware pans and automobile parts. It is an industrially popular material used for coating non-stick fry pans, medical equipment, and automotive machinery. The term Teflon is a trademark referring specifically to PTFE. Unlike thermoplastic PTFE, which undergoes traditional polymer processing, PTFE has high viscosity and is processed through cold shaping followed by heat treatment (sintering) to create a solid molding.

PEEK vs. PTFE: What is the Difference

Here's a concise comparison of properties between PEEK and PTFE to assist in new product development. We compare PEEK and PTFE in 4 ways.

High tensile strength

When it comes to polymers, there are few things which have harder strength than PEEK. In fact, it's so strong that the same machining guidelines apply to PEEK and metal.

This strength allows PEEK to be used in applications such as gaskets and automotive parts, especially where the metal cannot be used but metal-like durability is required.

High-temperature resistance

PEEK melts at around 400 degrees Celsius and can work in an environment of 300-325 degrees without deformation. While PTFE can withstand temperatures up to 250 degrees, any pressure on PTFE at this temperature will inevitably lead to deformation. In the case of PEEK, its hardness allows it to be used in high-stress, high-temperature environments without losing its formability.

PEEK

High wear resistance

Likewise, while both PTFE and PEEK can withstand significant wear, PEEK has a high PV that can withstand wear even under harsh physical and chemical conditions.

Chemical resistance

While PEEK is not an exact match to PTFE in terms of pure chemical inertness, it is resistant to many harsh chemicals, allowing it to be used in corrosive environments.

Difference Between Peek and PTFE

Need a table to present the comparison of the differences

Specification PTFE PEEK Preferred material
Price Moderately expensive Very expensive PTFE
Tensile Strength 25-35 Mpa 90-100 Mpa PEEK
Elongation 350-400% 30-40% PTFE
Compressive Strength 30-40 Mpa 140 Mpa PEEK
Flexural Modulus 495 Mpa 3900 Mpa PEEK
Coefficient of Friction 0.03-0.05 0.35-0.45 PTFE
Temperature resistance Up to 250°C Up to 250°C NA
Dielectric strength 50-150 Kv/mm 50 Kv/mm PTFE
Chemical resistance Virtually inert Affected by Sulphuric acid PTFE
Coefficient of linear thermal expansion 14 x 10-5/K 5 x 10-5/K PEEK
Machine-ability Good Very good PEEK

In conclusion

In summary, PEEK is preferred for applications demanding strength and low deformation, while PTFE excels in applications requiring resistance to voltage or chemicals. PTFE's self-lubricating properties make it a top choice for high-wear applications. The choice between the two depends on the specific performance characteristics needed for a given application in new product development.

For any more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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