PEEK milling – Tips & recommendations for action from K&B

1. thermoplastics and their characteristics

Our thermoplastics are processed in the plastic turning shop K&B in the most professional way according to your wishes. By heating, for example, they can be embossed, bent or straightened with comparatively little effort. With the help of special tools for professional processing, we also design our plastics by CNC milling, sawing, turning or drilling.

2. PEEK plastic

The plastic polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is one of the thermoplastics and is processed in many different ways in our plastic turning shop K&B. PEEK is one of the most versatile plastics on the market and its properties and characteristics are explained in more detail below.

2.1 Properties & Characteristics

PEEK plastics are thermoplastic polymers. Compared to alternative materials, PEEK has high mechanical and chemical resistance, even at constantly high temperatures (up to approx. 342° C). In addition, our PEEK plastics are excellent insulation materials due to their high electrical resistance and poor flammability. The most important features of PEEK plastic are described below:

  • high dimensional stability when exposed to heat
  • optimum machinability
  • high radiation resistance
  • Resistant to superheated steam
  • good gliding properties
  • good creep resistance
  • high chemical resistance

2.2 Our recommendations for the machining of PEEK

The machining of thermoplastics such as PEEK is regarded as the fastest and most efficient production method for the production of precise components. Through cutting processes such as sawing, drilling, turning or CNC milling, it is possible for our team to realize even the narrowest tolerances for our plastics. In the following we would like to explain our recommendations for action regarding these machining methods.

2.3. Sawing

For processing PEEK in contact with saws, we recommend using circular saws with carbide tools or band saws with bandsaw blades of the HSS design. In this case, care should be taken to ensure that the saw blades are sufficiently set and have the highest degree of sharpness to prevent excessive heating of the plastics. Circular saws are mainly used by us for cutting plastic blocks and panels with straight cutting edges. In addition, we recommend that you use a circular saw to ensure a smooth removal of the chips in order to avoid overheating of the PEEK plastic. In order to reduce the risk of clamping the saw blades, the machines should also be set to the appropriate feed rate.

2.4. Drilling

With regard to machining by drilling thermoplastic material, we at K&B take care of appropriate pauses or regular removal of the drill, especially in the case of long drillings, in order to provide the plastic with sufficient cooling and removal of the chips. For large diameters when drilling PEEK, we recommend pre-drilling and finishing the operation with a circular cutter. In contact with thin-walled PEEK, high cutting speeds and a neutral clamping angle should also be used in order to be able to optimally process the corresponding plastics. This also prevents hook-in when drilling into the plastic plate.

2.5. Turning

A high cutting speed and the use of a cutting depth of about 0.5 mm is recommended when machining PEEK plastics by turning. In addition, the use of tools with a small cutting radius can prove useful to ensure a score-free surface with regard to the materials. When turning, we also prevent our tools from being obstructed by flow chips by ensuring optimum chip removal. When machining longer PEEK plates by turning, we use steady rests to prevent the plastics from sagging. Finally, compressed air is used to cool the PEEK blank and to remove the chips.

2.6. Milling

As a rule, only hard plastics such as PEEK are suitable for machining by milling. Such plastics have a lower thermal conductivity than metal, for example, which makes it much more difficult to dissipate the heat generated during milling and can cause local overheating. We at K&B recommend that you use tools with a sufficiently large chip space for CNC milling of PEEK plastics. This will prevent heat accumulation in the system, among other things. Since we also dissipate the heat via the chips when milling PEEK, the heat input into the plastic is decisively influenced by the choice of tool and cutting parameters. In addition to a high cutting speed during CNC milling, we also recommend a medium feed rate during machining. In this way, we achieve maximum results in terms of quality and precision when milling our PEEK plastics.

3. fields of application of our PEEK products

Our PEEK plastic products are now used in the most technically demanding applications of all kinds. In particular, large industries such as aerospace, chemicals, automotive, etc. benefit from our products. Due to the excellent strength and longevity of PEEK plastic, our products also outperform metal alternatives in the manufacture of engines, medical products and scientific aids.
In the following we once again present the majority of the industries that benefit from our PEEK products.

  • Automotive industry
  • food technology
  • electrical engineering
  • chemical sector
  • mechanical engineering
  • vacuum technology
  • medical technology
  • aerospace engineering
  • textile industry
  • semiconductor technology

Are you also interested in our PEEK products?
Do not hesitate to contact us! We will be happy to take care of your personal request and send you a non-binding offer!