Interlayer bonding strength of 3D printed PEEK specimens

Chya Yan Liaw, John W. Tolbert, Lesley W. Chow, Murat Guvendiren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Recent advances in extrusion-based filament 3D printing technology enable the processability of high-performance polymers. Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) is an important group of high-performance polymer that has been widely used in aerospace, automotive, and biomedical applications. The interlayer bonding strength of 3D printed PEEK is crucial for load-bearing applications, yet studies on 3D printed PEEK are sparse due to processing challenges. In this study, the three-point flexural test is used to study the interlayer bonding strength of 3D-printed PEEK specimens with respect to the printing process parameters, including nozzle temperature, print speed, layer height, and wait-time. A design of experiment (DOE) approach is developed to study correlations between printing parameters and the end-use properties, including flexural stress (σf) and strain at break (ϵf), flexural modulus (Ef), and crystallinity (χ). Our results show that the nozzle temperature, layer height, and wait-time significantly affect the interlayer bonding strength, with nozzle temperature being the most influential parameter to enhance interlayer bonding strength indicated by a significant increase in σf, ϵf, and χ. Thermal annealing post-printing is shown to increase the degree of χ and Ef, yet its effect on interlayer bonding strength is minimal, indicating that the interlayer bonding strength is primarily determined during the printing process. This study demonstrates the use of a three-point flexural test integrated with a versatile and robust DOE approach to study the interlayer bonding strength of PEEK to reduce product development time while improving mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4775-4789
Number of pages15
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 14 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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