Ultra performing PAEK (polyaryl ether ketone) resins are typically not easily thermoformed in thick gauge semi-crystalline form. Arkema is excited to introduce new Kepstan® PEKK resins specifically designed to make such parts with extreme performance properties. This opens the door to a wide range of high performance parts such as large-scale galley and interior paneling for aircraft and rail interiors, electrical enclosures, and industrial component trays.
Through optimization of molecular weight and polymeric structure, Arkema has unlocked the full potential of a market historically limited to amorphous polymers. Using Kepstan® PEKK resin, it is now possible to produce large scale, deep drawn shapes with outstanding chemical, fire and thermomechanical resistance for aerospace, transportation, electronics, oil & gas, and many other demanding markets.
To effectively bring this technology to market, Arkema is working in close collaboration with Westlake Plastics (Pennsylvania, USA), an expert in high performance shape production, and specialty thermoformers CW Thomas (Pennsylvania, USA) and Plastiform (Thise, France). “We were experiencing thermoforming issues on thick gauges, as well as heat and chemical resistance limitations with existing materials,” explained Olivier Rodary, general manager, Plastiform. “By working together with Arkema on their Kepstan® PEKK material and by using a specific forming process together with engineered specialty toolings, we were able to achieve the forming of technical parts like never before. That will certainly help us to move several projects forward again,” commented Eric Lacker, technical manager, Plastiform.
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