Medical Grade PEEK

The high-performance thermoplastic that has become increasingly popular in the medical industry

Introduction to 
medical grade PEEK

Medical Grade PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) is a high-performance thermoplastic that has become increasingly popular in the medical industry due to its exceptional properties and biocompatibility. This article delves into the world of Medical Grade PEEK, discussing its properties, advantages, and various applications. We will also compare PEEK with other commonly used materials in the medical field, explore some of the top manufacturers, and discuss future developments.

What is medical grade PEEK?

Medical Grade PEEK, a superior thermoplastic material, boasts remarkable mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties that make it suitable for a wide range of medical uses.

Proof of concept

Properties of Medical Grade PEEK

Medical Grade PEEK is a unique polymer with impressive mechanical, thermal, and chemical resistance properties. Some of its key properties include:

  • High strength and stiffness

  • Lightweight

  • Excellent wear and abrasion resistance

  • High chemical resistance

  • Radiolucent (transparent to X-rays and other imaging techniques)

  • Sterilizable


Advantages of Medical Grade PEEK

Some of the advantages of using Medical Grade PEEK in medical applications include:

  • Biocompatibility: PEEK is biologically inert and has excellent biocompatibility, making it suitable for long-term implantation.

  • Bone-like modulus of elasticity: PEEK’s mechanical properties closely resemble those of natural bone, reducing stress shielding and promoting bone growth.

  • Reduced risk of infection: PEEK’s low surface roughness and hydrophobic nature reduce bacterial adhesion and the risk of infection.

Bond3D prints with Victrex PEEK

VICTREX PEEK is regarded as one of the highest performing engineering thermoplastics in the world. It has more than 40 years of proven performance in demanding environments, and Victrex customers can benefit from its high performance properties and our unmatched technical expertise.

3D printed mixer

Applications of Medical Grade PEEK

Concept generation

Orthopedic Implants

Medical Grade PEEK has become increasingly popular for orthopedic implants, such as joint replacements and fracture fixation devices. Its properties make it an ideal material for these applications, promoting faster recovery and improved patient outcomes.

Design for PEEK

Dental Implants

PEEK is used in dental implantology for abutments and temporary crowns, providing a stable and biocompatible solution with excellent aesthetics.

Materials for 3D Printing

Spinal Fusion Surgery

PEEK cages and spacers are used in spinal fusion surgery, offering stability and promoting bone growth while minimizing the risk of complications.

Medical Grade PEEK implants & devices

Comparing Medical Grade PEEK with other materials

In the world of engineering and manufacturing, material selection is a critical factor that influences the success and longevity of a project or product. PEEK polymers and metals are two widely used materials, each offering unique properties and advantages that make them suitable for various applications. PEEK, or polyether ether ketone, is a high-performance thermoplastic known for its exceptional mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. On the other hand, metals encompass a broad range of materials, including steel, aluminum, and titanium, with diverse characteristics depending on the specific alloy and treatment.

Understanding the key differences in material properties between PEEK polymers and metals is essential for engineers, designers, and decision-makers to make informed choices when selecting materials for their projects.



Although titanium has been the gold standard for medical implants, PEEK offers advantages such as reduced stress shielding, improved imaging compatibility, and a lower risk of infection.

Stainless steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is less expensive than PEEK, but it is heavier and less biocompatible. PEEK provides a better balance between strength, weight, and biocompatibility, making it a preferred choice for many medical applications.



Other polymers, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, may be more affordable than PEEK, but they lack the same level of strength, thermal resistance, and biocompatibility, limiting their use in demanding medical applications.

Medical Grade PEEK Safety and Biocompatibility

PEEK has been extensively tested for biocompatibility and has been found to be safe for long-term implantation. It meets the stringent ISO 10993 and USP Class VI requirements for biocompatibility.

Price Comparison and Cost-effectiveness

Although Medical Grade PEEK is more expensive than traditional materials like stainless steel, its superior properties and long-term benefits can offset the initial cost, making it a cost-effective choice for many applications.

Future Developments in Medical Grade PEEK

Research and development efforts are ongoing to further improve the properties of PEEK, such as incorporating bioactive materials, improving wear resistance, and developing new manufacturing techniques.

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