Poly(aryl ether ketone)s (PAEKs) are promising materials for harsh environments, such as in high-temperature steam applications. Here, the effect of high-temperature steam on the crystallinity and mechanical properties of existing poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) and PEKK(T/I) polymers is investigated. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide-angle X-ray scattering or diffraction (WAXD), and dynamic mechanical analysis experiments show these materials undergo significant crystallization and reorganization after prolonged exposure to steam and suffer from embrittlement. In addition, we show that xanthydrol-based crosslinks can provide the dimensional stability and stabilize the PEKK crystal structure. Mechanical tests demonstrate that the ductility is preserved for longer exposures to steam compared to neat PEKK, whereas DSC and WAXD data indicate xanthydrol crosslinks effectively stabilize the crystal structure against steam-assisted crystallization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry