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Education Spotlight: PEEK

January 8, 2019

With new regulations in place, the FDA now mandates that all food processors have comprehensive preventive controls and safety programs in place.  They have the complete authority to recall food due to contamination, and it is well known to food processors that a recall can kill a brand.

We are featuring PEEK in our education spotlight as it offers the best balance of properties of all thermoplastic materials.  In addition to outstanding mechanical properties, chemical resistance and thermal performance, PEEK can withstand long term continuous temperatures of 480°F as well as exposure to hot water or steam with low moisture absorption - which makes it the material of choice for high-temp applications in the food industry.

Repeated handling, cleaning and normal wear and tear of plastic component parts on processing machinery increases the risk of a fragment breaking off and contaminating the product, especially with the ongoing pressure to increase production line speeds.  Quality checks are performed at process control points, typically with either metal or x-ray detection systems.  In may cases, x-ray systems are required or preferred due to the food (such as meat products) and the fact that the system can effectively detect contamination post-packaging.

PEEK has been proven to be detected in a particle as small as a 3mm cube on production lines running as fast as 250 feet per minute.  Together with x-ray and metal detectible UHMW and Acetal products, we now offer three of the most commonly used engineering plastics in the food industry in these special detectible grades.  

Our friendly sales staff is ready to assist you with your plastic needs.  We have many years of experience working with various industries from food processing & material handling to glazing applications & the sign industry.  In  addition to stocking sheet and rod, we fabricate!  With our CNC equipment, we can run simple cut pieces & blanks or more complex items such as bearings, bushings and wear strips or profiles.  Call us today!

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