PEEK is a high-performance plastic that can be machined into tight-tolerance parts with excellent wear and abrasion resistance. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) comes in medical and industrial grades, both of which support CNC machining operations such as milling and drilling. Machined medical-grade PEEK is used in implants, dental healing caps, and spinal fusion, trauma fraction, and orthopedic devices. Machined industrial-grade PEEK is used in wheels, rollers, bearings, bushings, and aerospace parts. Although PEEK supports CNC machining at faster speeds and feeds, there are still some best practices to follow before, during, and after machining. For example, PEEK rods need to be annealed to remove stresses and machined with silicone carbide tools. After plastic machining is complete, manufacturers need to remove burrs that can interfere with assembly or impede performance. Manual deburring is time-consuming, inefficient, and inconsistent, but cryogenic deburring is fast, accurate, and repeatable.
How Cryogenic PEEK Deburring Works
Nitrofreeze® cryogenic deburring is a safe, clean process that’s been used in applications such as the removal of burrs from PEEK medical implants. During this cryogenic process, PEEK parts are cooled to very low temperatures so that the parts become brittle. The machined PEEK parts are then impacted with a non-abrasive polycarbonate media that removes only the surface imperfections. Little to no dust or residue remains, and there aren’t any physical or mechanical changes to part properties.
Compared to manual deburring, cryogenic deburring is better for hard-to-reach part geometries such as blind holes and cross-drilled holes. When burrs are deep inside a machined PEEK part, workers who use handheld tools may not be able to see inside the bore very easily, and this can affect quality. Nitrofreeze® cryogenic deburring doesn’t require the ability to look inside and reach tight spaces, and it’s more precise than hand tools sine it uses media sized from 0.015” to 0.060” to solve application-specific challenges.
Manual Deburring vs. Cryogenic Deburring
Even when machined PEEK parts aren’t complex, manual deburring is still time-consuming. It’s also labor-intensive since a worker can deburr only a single part at a time. Plus, manual deburring can be inaccurate and inconsistent. Machined PEEK supports tight tolerances, but workers risk removing too much or too little material with knives or trimmers. There can also be part-to-part differences among workers or across shifts. Then, because PEEK is a high-performance plastic, material waste is relatively expensive.
As a computer-controlled, machine-based batch process, Nitrofreeze® cryogenic deburring eliminates these problems and provides important advantages. Instead of a single part at a time, cryogenic deburring can process tens or hundreds of parts simultaneously. The process won’t affect surface finish or geometry, and part edges are maintained without rounding. Cryogenic deburring is also accurate and consistent, and Nitrofreeze® can save your burr removal recipe for future batches of the same PEEK part.
Deburr Machined PEEK Plastic Parts with Nitrofreeze®
Nitrofreeze® of Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) uses patented cryogenic technology to remove burrs from medical, industrial and aerospace PEEK parts. Contact our experts to review your requirements. Then, if your machined PEEK part is a viable candidate for our process, we can perform sampling. The consultation is free of charge, so contact us at the phone number or email number listed below to learn more. Nitrofreeze® also sells cryogenic deburring equipment so that you deburr PEEK parts in-house.
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