Polyaryletherketone (PAEK), which belongs to a class of semi-crystalline thermoplastics, offers high-temperature stability, high mechanical strength, and good overall chemical resistance. It can be processed using all the typical thermoplastic processes such as injection molding, extrusion, compression molding, and transfer molding. Plastics that fall within this family include Polyetherketone (PEK), Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), Polyetheretherketoneketone (PEEKK), and Polyetherketoneetherketoneketone (PEKEKK). Polyaryletherketone produces the least toxic and corrosive fumes when burned. It is used in oil drilling components such as seals, compressor rings, valve parts, gears, bearings, and wire coatings. It is also employed in the chemical pump industry, as it can withstand high temperature, stress, and is corrosion resistant.
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Polyaryletherketone is used to make gears and thrust bearings in transmissions in the automotive industry. Polyaryletherketone has low heat output when burned; therefore, it is employed in interior aviation applications. It is used in medical devices due to its excellent resistance to hydrolysis; it does not break down when sterilized. Polyaryletherketone is widely used for substituting metals, composites, and polymers due to its excellent characteristics. Along with fillers, PAEK offers significantly better properties than nylon 6,6 with glass fiber reinforcement. It is resistant to high operating temperature of above 250°C Properties such as resistance to most organic chemicals, inherent purity, better combustion resistance, and ease in processisbilty make it ideal for usage in applications. Benefits of aromatic ketone polymers include low energy consumption, ease in complex component fabrication, lifetime operation improvement, and substitution of metals with lightweight materials.
The automobile application segment of the polyaryletherketone market is likely to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Enhanced application performance, stringent environmental regulations, and cost reduction across numerous end-used industries such as aerospace, medical, and oil & gas are estimated to drive the demand for polyaryletherketone during the forecast period. These factors are anticipated to drive PAEK market during the forecast period. Replacement of metals with high-end performance based polymers in order to reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel efficiency is anticipated to boost the demand for PAEK in automobile applications. Rise in usage of PAEK in the automotive sector is likely to provide lucrative opportunities to industry participants to increase market presence, as it is used in the manufacture of components of gearbox and clutch. Rise in scope in medical applications is expected to boost the polyaryletherketone market.
A polyaryletherketone biomaterial, launched by Victrex under the brand name PEEK-OPTIMA, is used for medical implants. It also enables manufacturers to make high performance implants with tailor-made properties that are compatible with modern imaging techniques. It offers advantages such as imaging artefacts elimination, tissue/bone growth observation & repair using X-rays, and allergic tissue reaction avoidance with metallic ions. Implementation of regulations in the U.S. and the European Union (EU) to curb carbon emissions by decreasing vehicle weight is another factor augmenting the PAEK market.
Europe was the leading region of the PAEK market in 2016 due to the rise in preference toward replacement of metals with high-end performance based polymers in order to reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel efficiency in the region. Europe was followed by North America in the same year. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, due to the growth in automotive and aerospace industries in the region.
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Key companies operating in the PAEK market include Victrex, Solvay, and Zyex Ltd.