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Solvay Specialty Polymers has announced the introduction of a new high stiffness grade of KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) that provides 50% greater modulus than standard neat PEEK grades.
The company explains that despite its higher stiffness, the new grade, KetaSpire KT-825, retains the elongation and toughness that is comparable to that of neat PEEK resin for structural applications in transportation, electronics, semiconductor, and oil and gas.
Solvay states KetaSpire KT-825 utilises a proprietary additive and compounding technology that allows the unique combination of high stiffness, excellent ductility, and low specific gravity of 1.35 compared to 1.30 for neat PEEK. According to Jamal El-Hibri, Principal Scientist for Solvay Specialty Polymers the new grade bridges the performance gap between unfilled PEEK and traditional glass fibre reinforced or carbon fibre reinforced PEEK grades.
“KT-825 combines the ductility and toughness attributes of neat PEEK with the increased stiffness of reinforced grades while retaining the desirable low anisotropy in resin properties along the flow and cross flow directions,” explained El-Hibri.
Solvay claims the new compound can be processed by conventional methods including injection moulding and extrusion. It states it also has excellent film forming characteristics for melt extruded films down to thicknesses of approximately 50 microns (0.05 mm). Targeted application areas include automotive and aerospace due to a continuing demand for materials that offer a high stiffness-to-weight ratio as well as structural applications in mobile electronics where a good balance of stiffness and toughness are required along with a low specific gravity.
Initially, the company explains the natural grade KT-825 NT is being made available; however, black and other colours are available upon request. The semi-commercial product is available for sampling and pilot-scale production.
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