Solvay commercialized its AvaSpire PAEK (polyaryletherketone) as an advanced thermoplastic positioned between PEEK and higher-performance polymers such as Torlon and Ultem PEI. Several formulations including performance-enhanced grades are available for injection molding.
Injection Molding Grades of AvaSpire PAEK
AvaSpire PAEK 700 and 800 series resins can be processed by injection molding and by extrusion. Both resin families include unfilled grades and formulations reinforced with glass or carbon fibers for added structural strength. Enhanced wear-resistant grades are also available.
AvaSpire PAEK Attributes
Described by Solvay as a PEEK hybrid, one of the key properties of AvaSpire PAEK compared to traditional PEEK is its glass-transition temperature. At 158°C (316°F) its Tg is somewhat higher than that of PEEK, though well below Torlon’s 280°C (537°F) Tg. Strength, stiffness and ductility also exceed those of PEEK in the 150-200°C range. Its properties can make AvaSpire PAEK a viable alternative to PEEK for applications in this temperature range depending on stress loads and on the chemical environment, where PEEK maintains an advantage.
AvaSpire PAEK is also available in custom-colors. This affords a benefit over some other high-performance thermoplastics where color is important for aesthetics or product identification. Applications that capitalize on this asset include sterilizable surgical instruments, and trays for surgery kits.
Agency and Regulatory Compliance
AvaSpire PAEK meets requirements for compliance to a number of regulatory standards governing its use in specific applications. Solvay recommends users request information on compliance of applications and grades related to these and other agencies:
FDA – Food Contact:
AvaSpire PAEK has been cleared for food contact under 21 CFR and/or in an effective Food Contact Notification. Several grades comply with European Commission Directive No. 10/2011.
ISO 10993 – Medical Devices:
Specific grades of AvaSpire PAEK comply, and can be used in certain medical applications with the exception of implantable devices.
AvaSpire PAEK grades are listed UL’s Recognized Component Directory.
According to Solvay, AvaSpire PAEK resins can be specified using ASTM D4000.
Capabilities for Injection Molding AvaSpire PAEK Components
Drake Plastics’ injection molding machines are rated between 35 and 300 tons. This allows us to produce AvaSpire PAEK components from 0.85 grams (0.03 oz.) to 567 grams (20 oz.).
Like other advanced plastics, AvaSpire PAEK has a narrow window of ideal process conditions. Our procedures, equipment and systems are designed to achieve and maintain temperatures and pressures that yield optimum quality and performance in these polymers.
Melt flow analysis:
This technology lets us define the best processing conditions, equipment set-up and tooling for each polymer and part configuration we mold.
Machines and Systems Engineered for High Performance Polymers:
Drake Plastics’ all-electric molding machines operate cleanly and efficiently and without the risk of contamination from hydraulic fluids. The machine barrels are sized to each polymer. This helps narrow the polymer’s window of exposure to high melt temperatures, and avoids material degradation that impacts molded part performance and quality.
Our control systems are designed for processing high performance polymers and contribute to the consistently high quality of the components we produce. Probes inside each mold monitor and maintain pressures and temperatures specific to each material and configuration for optimum part quality and performance.
Drake Plastics’ molding equipment also incorporates an injection-compression capability that compresses or coins parts inside the mold during the cooling phase. Another investment in quality assurance, the technology eliminates porosity and voids common especially with parts that have heavy wall sections.
AvaSpire PAEK Stock Shapes for Machined Prototypes and Parts
Many of our customers require prototype parts for testing, or need higher quantities to get their products to market before injection molding tools are completed. Drake Plastics offers several AvaSpire PAEK grades in a range of machinable rod and plate sizes to meet these requirements. Custom sizes are also available made-to-order with reasonable minimums. Our CNC machining team can supply precision components, or provide technical support to other machine shops to help ensure the highest quality parts made from Drake Plastics’ stock shapes.