Like all semi-crystalline technopolymers, its properties improve when the percentage of crystallinity increases. The level of a poymer’s crystallinity depends on the cooling speed starting from the fluid state, as the polymeric chains need a certain time to get aligned.
The annealing is a thermal Post Processing, often suggested for the semi-crystalline materials, regardless of the forming process, that is used for:
- optimizing the crystallinity;
- removing any residual stress due to the return of the part (typical of semi-crystallines) or any mechanical processing;
- improving the dimensional stability at high temperature.
The properties of PEEK parts, printed with Roboze FFF 3D technology, can be further improved with the same annealing procedure suggested for injection printed parts and consists in:
- Heating up the component up to the equilibrium temperature of 200°C;
- Leaving the component at the annealing temperature of 200°C (the holding time of the components depends on the thickness of the walls)
- Leaving the component at 200°C for 1 hour for any millimeter of wall thickness;
- Letting the component cooling down at 10°C per hour up to 140°C (the slow cooling process is fundamental to minimize the residual tensions within the material);
- Switching off the oven and leaving the component cooling down until it gets the room temperature.
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