Peek molding is a specialty plastic process that allows manufacturers to create mass-produced parts. These parts are used in a number of industries, including medical, aerospace, and oil and gas. Peek is an extremely strong, durable polymer that has excellent chemical resistance and high temperature capabilities. It’s also FDA compliant for food contact and sterilizable for medical applications. To make the most of these unique properties, manufacturers need to ensure they’re using the best processing methods possible. Injection molding is one such method that helps achieve these results.
PEEK injection molding is not without its challenges, however. Some of the issues that can arise are related to the material’s thermal stability, shrinkage, and coloration. In this blog post, we will explore five tips to help you avoid these pitfalls and get the most out of your peek molding Ohio process.
The first tip is to pay attention to the injection pressure. PEEK has a very high injection pressure, and it is important to keep the pressure consistent throughout the entire injection cycle to reduce the risk of defects such as voids or sink marks.
Another tip is to monitor the temperature of the melt. It is important to maintain the proper melt temperature for peek molding, as this will improve both the quality of the part and the strength of the finished product. The melting point of peek is around 170 to 200oC, so it’s vital to keep the temperature within this range.
It’s also crucial to monitor the cooling rate. The rate of cooling has a significant impact on crystallinity, and can cause the formation of amorphous and crystalline regions in the finished product. This can be a problem for many plastics, but it’s especially important to avoid with peek. The cooling rate can be controlled by using an insulating jacket or heating the molds to a higher temperature, but this will increase your energy costs.
It is also critical to clean your equipment before beginning a molding run with PEEK. This includes the screw, barrel, and nozzle. These pieces will likely be exposed to the highest temperatures during the injection molding process, and can contain residues from lower melting plastics. This can lead to dark specks in the finished products, which is unacceptable. For this reason, it’s often beneficial to dedicate your injection molding machine to peek, and only use it for this purpose. This will minimize the chance of contamination and save you money on energy costs.