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Study on the Nanomechanical and Nanotribological Behaviors of PEEK and CFRPEEK for Biomedical Applications

State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Biomechanics and Biotechnology Lab, Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518057, China
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2018, 10(2), 142;
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
PDF [4930 KB, uploaded 2 February 2018]


This study was to investigate the nanomechanical and nanotribological properties of polyether ether ketone (PEEK)-based composites for biomedical applications and to gain a fundamental understanding of the effects of carbon fibers in carbon-fiber-reinforced PEEK (CFRPEEK) on the mechanical properties and wear performance in a microscale. Nanoindentation tests with a Berkovich indenter and nanoscratch experiments with a diamond stylus were performed on PEEK and CFRPEEK samples. The nanowear features and mechanisms of the tested samples were analyzed using 3D white-light interfering profilometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The obtained results indicated that the reinforced carbon fibers increased the nanohardness and elastic modulus and decreased the friction coefficient and wear rate of PEEK. Different to many existing studies where a constant load was used in a nanoscratch test and the normal load was a key factor influencing the scratch performances of the tested specimens, stick–slip phenomena were observed on both PEEK and CFRPEEK in the nanoscratch tests with load increasing progressively. In constant load conditions, it was found that the major nanowear mechanisms of PEEK are adhesion, abrasion, and plastic deformation, while the nanowear mechanisms of CFRPEEK are dominated by severe adhesive wear, abrasive wear and mild fatigue. CFRPEEK has demonstrated superior nanomechanical and nanotribological performances, and hence can be considered a potential candidate for biomedical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanomechanical properties; nanotribology; PEEK; CFRPEEK nanomechanical properties; nanotribology; PEEK; CFRPEEK

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Song, J.; Shi, H.; Liao, Z.; Wang, S.; Liu, Y.; Liu, W.; Peng, Z. Study on the Nanomechanical and Nanotribological Behaviors of PEEK and CFRPEEK for Biomedical Applications. Polymers 2018, 10, 142.

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