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Solvay unveils Super-Fine and Ultra-Fine KetaSpire PEEK powders for coatings and thermoplastic prepreg

News International-French

12 Sep 2013

Solvay Specialty Polymers has announced the commercial introduction of new super-fine powder (SFP) and ultra-fine powder (UFP) grades of KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) for water-borne coatings, powder coatings, and resin pre-impregnation of continuous fiber composites.

These new KetaSpire PEEK powders provide excellent strength, durability, and chemical resistance for demanding applications in chemical processing, oil and gas, aerospace, semiconductor, healthcare, transportation, and other industrial uses.

“Since PEEK is a semi-crystalline resin and is very difficult to dissolve in common solvents, the application of coatings from solution is not a viable process option,” explained Jamal El-Hibri, principal scientist for Solvay Specialty Polymers. As a result, the most useful techniques for PEEK in coating applications are the use of waterborne media in which the PEEK powder is in suspension or the use of air-borne coating processes using techniques such as fluidized beds or electrostatic powder spray guns. For all these techniques, fine particle size is required to achieve a uniform high-quality coating with good structural integrity. Solvay's KetaSpire SFP grades have a nominal median particle size of 30 microns while UFP grades provide the finest possible particle size with a nominal median particle size of 10 microns.

In addition to coatings, another major application area for KetaSpire SFP and UFP powders is the solventless pre-impregnation of continuous carbon fiber and other continuous fiber reinforcements, with PEEK resin as a thermoplastic matrix. This is achieved through an electrostatic powder coating process and the finest possible particle size allows for good coating, even distribution, and uniform melting of the PEEK resin around the reinforcement.

Solvay’s super-fine PEEK powder offering includes KetaSpire KT-880 SFP, a high-flow grade, and KetaSpire KT-820 SFP, a low-flow version. The ultra-fine PEEK powder line includes KetaSpire KT-880 UFP, a high-flow grade, and KetaSpire KT-820 UFP, a low-flow material. All four grades are unreinforced and supplied in a natural color.

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