PEEK and its carbon-fiber reinforced composites are considered to be established and clinically effective biomaterials for orthopedic applications. However, reports of PEEK fracture have presented in the literature and warrant investigation into the fatigue and fracture behavior of PEEK. Here, we present a linear-elastic fracture mechanics approach to fatigue crack propagation in unfilled PEEK and carbon fiber reinforced PEEK. The presence of carbon fibers improves the fatigue resistance of PEEK, an effect which is dependent on fiber type.
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