PEEK or PEK, which are high strength and resistance to heat, to chemicals and radiation thermoplastics, were reinforced by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or graphene to improve essentially their outstanding thermo-mechanical performance. This was attained by developing innovative processing equipment for mixing, functionalisation, melt microspliting, microvoids reduction, melt-drawing and macromolecules straightening. The new equipment includes:

  • Extensional, rotational, reciprocating, dispersive flow mixer-reactor, capable to fully disentangle-disperse-distribute CNTs (or graphene), without attrition.
  • A melt-drawing machine for melt micro-splitting, microvoids reduction, macromolecules stretching, straightening and for fibrous controlled crystallization.

The CNTs (graphene) cause suppression of fatigue crack growth due to crack bridging. Also, the CNT network increases structural reliability, dimensional stability (reduces creep) and the operational temperature range (at 330˚C, strength 47,5 MPa). The same applies for the stress or strain fatigue life, while creep is drastically reduced.
.The emerged and validated concepts, procedures and processing equipment have created a generic platform for nano-reinforcement, where other advanced thermoplastics can be effectively reinforced as well.

peeksheets

Production of tailor made PEEK/CNT sheets within a wide range of outstanding thermo-mechanical properties including damping.