Bioinspired nacre-like PEEK material with superior tensile strength and impact toughness

RSC Adv. 2022 May 23;12(24):15584-15592. doi: 10.1039/d2ra00667g. eCollection 2022 May 17.

ABSTRACT

A bioinspired PEEK material with hard “bricks” of nanoscale lamellae and micron-scale deformed spherulites bonded by soft “mortar” of a rigid amorphous fraction was produced with a pressure-induced flow (PIF) processing applied in the solid-state. Novel mechanisms were proposed for the marked and simultaneous improvement in the strength and toughness, where the tensile strength and impact strength could be increased to ∼200% and ∼450%, respectively. On one hand, the rotation, recombination and restacking of the crystalline blocks formed an oriented and stratified morphology similar to the “brick-and-mortar” structure in nacre, and resulted in the confined crack propagations and the tortuous energy dissipating paths. On the other hand, the PIF-relaxation due to the newly generated rigid amorphous fraction further contributed to the improvement of the impact strength. The efficiency of enhancement could be controlled by the molding temperature, the compression ratio, and the volume fraction of chopped carbon fiber. As a result, PIF-processing might endow the PEEK material with improved mechanical matching with the surrounding tissues and extended service life in biomedical applications while retaining excellent biocompatibility with no external substances introduced.

PMID:35685180 | PMC:PMC9125775 | DOI:10.1039/d2ra00667g

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