Solvay KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer commonly used to replace metal components in severe end-use environments. Solvay KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK filament provides operational temperatures up to 240°C with an increased strength over unfilled Solvay KetaSpire® PEEK due to its 10% carbon fiber reinforcement.

Suitable as a material for metal component replacement, KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK is well-suited for critical aerospace and automotive applications.

Printing Difficulty: Challenging/Expert

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK can be purchased from AON3D directly by contacting help@aon3d.com.

Technical Specifications

Material Safety Data Sheet

Technical Data Sheet

For more information on material safety and specific material properties, see the manufacturer’s website.

Physical Properties

Property Value Test Method
Density 1.33 g/cm³ ASTM D792
Melting Temperature 343°C ASTM D3418

*All data as reported by Solvay Technical Data Sheet as downloaded on 10/6/2020. Print conditions listed on the Technical Data Sheet.


Usage Notes

General Process Settings

For best results, process settings should be adjusted based on model geometry. If you require process development support, our Applications Engineering team can help! Send us a message at help@aon3d.com to consult with one of our Additive Manufacturing Specialists.

Overall, the general process settings for KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK are similar to KetaSpire® PEEK. Processing conditions have a great influence on the degree of crystallinity, affecting the mechanical properties a part may have: managing crystallization is hard. The 10% carbon loading slightly reduces crystallization-induced shrinkage, decreasing the likelihood of part deformation and/or warping at higher extrusion temperatures. For more information about printing amorphous and semi-crystalline, see the Solvay KetaSpire® PEEK material guide.

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK printing is generally less troublesome than Solvay KetaSpire® PEEK, but still challenging. The 10% carbon fiber reinforcement may reduce part warping and/or deformation. Polymer shrinkage due to crystallization is slightly less of a problem but still there.

Amorphous extrusions are visually dark-blue, whereas crystallized extrusions are dark-brown. It may be difficult to visually distinguish amorphous and semi-crystalline extrusions in a part as they are of similar color. We recommend printing KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK semi-crystalline rather than amorphous as it may be hard to distinguish if the extrusions are semi-crystalline or amorphous. The extrusion, build platform, and chamber temperatures may be a better indicator of the degree of crystallinity. However, if the finished part shows dark-blue extrusions while printing semi-crystalline, see the Incomplete Crystallization section.

Limit the use of KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK to small parts or low-mass parts (low infill, <20%, or made of only thin walls, 1-3 mm). Larger models of high infill percentages may slightly warp, shrink, and/or deform due to the fast crystallization rate.

Ooze Control parameters should be focused on adjusting the Coasting Distance and/or Wipe Distance instead of the Retraction Distance due to the 10% carbon loading. If undesired seams and stringing are produced, larger Coasting Distance and/or Wipe Distance may reduce blobs and stringing defects near seams.

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK requires the use of at least a 0.40mm and wear-resistant nozzles such as hardened steel or tungsten-carbide coated steel due to its abrasive nature. Use slower printing speeds between 20-45 mm/s for optimal mechanical properties and print quality. Avoid large flat surfaces parallel to the bed to avoid warping. Most parts can be printed with a 0.40-0.60 mm nozzle at a layer height of 0.10-0.20 mm for most applications.

Setting AON-M2
Extrusion Temperature 390-465ºC
Bed Temperature 210ºC
Chamber Temperature 120ºC
Print Speed 20-45 mm/s
Nozzle Size 0.40-1.00 mm
Build Platform High-Temperature Build Plate

The AON-M2 is unable to reach chamber temperatures above 120ºC. This constraint may limit your ability to optimally print KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK semi-crystalline. The AON-M2 2020 and AON M2+ can reach chamber temperatures up to 135ºC, contact AON3D directly at help@aon3d.com for more information.

Setting AON-M2 2020
Extrusion Temperature 390-465ºC
Bed Temperature 210ºC
Chamber Temperature 135ºC
Print Speed 20-45 mm/s
Nozzle Size 0.40-1.00 mm
Build Platform High-Temperature Build Plate
Setting AON M2+
Extrusion Temperature 390-465ºC
Bed Temperature 150ºC
Chamber Temperature 135ºC
Print Speed 20-45 mm/s
Nozzle Size 0.40-1.00 mm
Build Platform CF-PEEK composite plate

High semi-crystalline extrusion temperatures print best on the AON M2+ due to improved first layer adhesion on the CF-PEEK composite plate. Low amorphous extrusion temperatures may be difficult to achieve adequate first layer adhesion.

Solvay KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK is brittle when unprocessed and dry. Pay attention to the internal and external filament feed path. Any curve to guide the filament must be of a bend diameter of at least 20cm to avoid filament fracturing.

Sample Slicer Profile

Single Extruder, 0.40mm nozzle

Single Extruder, 0.60mm nozzle

Moisture Control

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK is extremely susceptible to moisture uptake Bubbles, popping noises, excessive oozing, and stringing may occur if it has been hydrated.

The filament can be dried in a convection oven at 150ºC for at least 4 hours before processing and fed from a low humidity environment. When not in use, store in a sealed package or container with silica desiccant to inhibit moisture absorption. Properly dry the material before adjusting process parameters to obtain reliable and consistent results. Our drybox setup prevents filament moisture uptake to keep the material printing process free of moisture, contact help@aon3d.com for more information.

For more information, see the Filament Drying and Moisture Control page.

Build Platform Adhesion

For instructions on how to inspect the AON3D build plates, refer to the Inspect and Clean Build Plates procedure.

Build Platform Selection

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK prints best on the High-Temperature Build Plate.

First Layer Adhesion

Part and/or build platform damage may occur during part removal. Print removal may be difficult without damaging the part and/or the build platform. If needed, a sacrificial temperature gradient raft can facilitate part removal. For more information about reducing damage to the part and/or built platform, see the Solvay KetaSpire® PEEK material guide.

Start with a First Layer Height and First Layer Width of 100-150% for both and adjust until desired bed adhesion is achieved.

First Layer Extrusion Temperature First Layer Speed
390-410ºC 15-20 mm/s

If first layer adhesion is difficult to achieve without warping, avoid increasing the first layer extrusion temperature very high. Extremely high extrusion temperatures may cause rapid crystallization, leading to extreme warping and poor interlayer welding strength.

Anchors may be added to the sides of the part to minimize warping by increasing the total surface area on the build platform. Geometries such as pyramids or tabs can be used as anchors.

For more information, see the Build Platform Adhesion guide.

Build Platform Selection

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK prints best on the High-Temperature Build Plate.

First Layer Adhesion

Part and/or build platform damage may occur during part removal. Print removal may be difficult without damaging the part and/or the build platform. If needed, a sacrificial temperature gradient raft can facilitate part removal. For more information about reducing damage to the part and/or built platform, see the Solvay KetaSpire® PEEK material guide.

Start with a First Layer Height and First Layer Width of 100-150% for both and adjust until desired bed adhesion is achieved.

First Layer Extrusion Temperature First Layer Speed
390-410ºC 15-20 mm/s

If first layer adhesion is difficult to achieve without warping, avoid increasing the first layer extrusion temperature very high. Extremely high extrusion temperatures may cause rapid crystallization, leading to extreme warping and poor interlayer welding strength.

Anchors may be added to the sides of the part to minimize warping by increasing the total surface area on the build platform. Geometries such as pyramids or tabs can be used as anchors.

For more information, see the Build Platform Adhesion guide.

CF-PEEK Composite Plate

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK prints best on the CF-PEEK composite plate.

First Layer Adhesion

To successfully print KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK on the CF-PEEK composite plate, reduce the First Layer Speed and slightly increase the extrusion temperature for the first layer. Increase the First Layer Height and First Layer Width above 120%.

The first few layers of the part may be printed at higher extrusion temperatures, slowly tapering off to overall extrusion temperatures if needed. Start with a First Layer Height and First Layer Width of 100-150% for both and adjust until desired bed adhesion is achieved.

First Layer Extrusion Temperature First Layer Speed
410-450ºC 20-30 mm/s

If first layer adhesion is difficult to achieve without warping, avoid increasing the first layer extrusion temperature very high. Extremely high extrusion temperatures may cause rapid crystallization, leading to extreme warping and poor interlayer welding strength.

Anchors may be added to the sides of the part to minimize warping by increasing the total surface area on the build platform. Geometries such as pyramids or tabs can be used as anchors.

For more information, see the Build Platform Adhesion guide.


Dual Extrusion and Support

There is currently no compatible support material for KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK; prints require self-support. For easy support removal and good support top/bottom contact layer adhesion, use only 1 Upper/Lower Vertical Separation Layer. More than 1 separation layer may risk the supported region of the part to detach and warp.

For more information, see the Using Supports and Support Materials guide.

Post-Processing

Allow all machine components to reach room temperature before proceeding further. Failure to allow components to cool down will result in thermal injury (burns) to personnel.

High-Temperature Build Plate

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK parts may not easily separate from the High-Temperature Build Plate. Damage to the part and/or the build platform may occur during part removal. The use of a spatula can facilitate part removal if needed.


Shrinkage, deformation, and warpage due to thermal shock may occur from removing the part before letting the machine cool. Instructions for removing the part from the build platform and additional support material can be found on the Build Platform Adhesion and Using Supports and Support Materials guides.

Annealing

Annealing of KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK parts must be controlled to achieve a slow crystallization rate by maintaining the lowest temperature that allows crystallization. Therefore, placing the amorphous or semi-crystalline part directly from printing into a high-temperature environment may cause rapid and uneven crystallization, risking extreme warping and deformation. By using a slow and controlled annealing process, crystallization will be slow and even throughout the part. Crystallization-induced shrinkage during the annealing process may be reduced.

Amorphous parts require extra caution when annealing. Since there is more material to crystalize, annealing amorphous parts risk major warping and deformation due to crystallization-induced shrinkage. Semi-crystalline parts do not experience as much crystallization during the annealing process but may still warp and deform.

For more information about PEEK crystallization, see the Annealing guide and our PEEK article.

High-Temperature Build Plate

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK parts may not easily separate from the High-Temperature Build Plate. Damage to the part and/or the build platform may occur during part removal. The use of a spatula can facilitate part removal if needed.


Shrinkage, deformation, and warpage due to thermal shock may occur from removing the part before letting the machine cool. Instructions for removing the part from the build platform and additional support material can be found on the Build Platform Adhesion and Using Supports and Support Materials guides.

Annealing

Annealing of KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK parts must be controlled to achieve a slow crystallization rate by maintaining the lowest temperature that allows crystallization. Therefore, placing the amorphous or semi-crystalline part directly from printing into a high-temperature environment may cause rapid and uneven crystallization, risking extreme warping and deformation. By using a slow and controlled annealing process, crystallization will be slow and even throughout the part. Crystallization-induced shrinkage during the annealing process may be reduced.

Amorphous parts require extra caution when annealing. Since there is more material to crystalize, annealing amorphous parts risk major warping and deformation due to crystallization-induced shrinkage. Semi-crystalline parts do not experience as much crystallization during the annealing process but may still warp and deform.

For more information about PEEK crystallization, see the Annealing guide and our PEEK article.

CF-PEEK Composite Plate

KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK parts may separate easily from the CF-PEEK composite plate by hand at room temperature. The use of a spatula can facilitate part removal if needed.


If there are multiple parts on the composite plate, you will want to remove the composite plate from the machine before removing the parts. Whereas if you print multiple large/heavy or tall parts, it will be preferable to remove them from the composite plate before removing the sheet from the machine.

Shrinkage, deformation, and warpage due to thermal shock may occur from removing the part before letting the machine cool. Instructions for removing the part from the build platform and additional support material can be found on the Build Platform Adhesion and Using Supports and Support Materials guides.

Annealing

Annealing of KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK parts must be controlled to achieve a slow crystallization rate by maintaining the lowest temperature that allows crystallization. Therefore, placing the amorphous or semi-crystalline part directly from printing into a high-temperature environment may cause rapid and uneven crystallization, risking extreme warping and deformation. By using a slow and controlled annealing process, crystallization will be slow and even throughout the part. Crystallization-induced shrinkage during the annealing process may be reduced.

Amorphous parts require extra caution when annealing. Since there is more material to crystalize, annealing amorphous parts risk major warping and deformation due to crystallization-induced shrinkage. Semi-crystalline parts do not experience as much crystallization during the annealing process but may still warp and deform.

For more information about PEEK crystallization, see the Annealing guide and our PEEK article.


Troubleshooting

Incomplete Crystallization

If the printed part shows dark-blue extrusions in the part, this is an indication of incomplete crystallization that occurs when printing semi-crystalline. Therefore, the part can be annealed to induce crystallization. As shown below, certain areas of the part have not been fully crystallized. Following a proper annealing schedule will optimize the performance of the printed part by completing the crystallization and improving interlayer welding. For more information, see the Post-Processing section.

Poor Interlayer Welding Strength

The fast crystallization rate of KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK when printing semi-crystalline may cause shrinkage or deformation; crystallization occurs after the extrusion is layered. The accumulation of stress due to crystallization starting from the first layer may cause the part to deform if the stress is large enough over time. Additionally, the interaction between each subsequent layer is diminished as crystals form at the surface of the layer, hindering good adhesion and welding between layers. As shown below, a KetaSpire® Carbon-Filled PEEK print experienced interlayer delamination and warping, mainly due to non-isometrical shrinking and poor interlayer welding.

Semi-crystalline printing requires a very high chamber temperature and high extrusion temperatures. Sufficient intermixing of the layers must occur before the material crystallizes; layers will not stick if crystallized too fast. With the highest chamber temperature, increase the extrusion temperature if the extrusions are amorphous. Decrease the extrusion temperature if the extrusions crystalize too quickly with weak layer welding strength.

Crystallization During Amorphous Printing

If the extrusion and chamber temperatures are set too high, semi-crystalline instead of amorphous printing may occur. This problem can be seen as a mix of dark-blue and dark-brown extrusions. The chamber temperature for amorphous printing should be set below its crystallization temperature, likely below its glass transition temperature. Print with a low chamber temperature and avoid extrusion temperatures near or at crystallization temperatures.

Last modified: January 24, 2022