Case Study/PEEK Retractable Safety Scalpel Handle


FDA Certified Medical Device Manufacturer


The retractable scalpel featured at right illustrates the benefits of PEEK as a material for medical devices. The stainless steel scalpel retracts smoothly into the plastic sheath with a click to confirm the blade is enclosed.

It requires chemical and heat resistance, long term dimensional stability, friction and wear resistance, and the ability to withstand repeated sterilization.

PEEK (Polyetheretherketone) offers the highest chemical resistance of any semi-crystalline plastic with excellent retention of mechanical properties up to 570°F (300°C).

PEEK can be sterilized using all conventional sterilization methods, including steam, ethylene oxide, vaporized hydrogen peroxide and gamma radiation. China Array is an FDA certified medical device manufacturer.



  • HDT up to 315°C
  • Continuous use temperature of 240°C
  • Sterilizable
  • Excellent long term thermal oxidative stability
  • Fatigue resistance
  • Dimensional integrity
  • Outstanding chemical resistance to organics, acids, bases and steam/hot water
  • Friction and wear resistance

Chemical & Heat Resistance: PEEK can be sterilized using all conventional sterilization methods, including steam, ethylene oxide, vaporized hydrogen peroxide and gamma radiation. It can withstand continuous use temperatures of 240°C.

Friction & Wear Resistance: The Safety Scalpel has multiple wear surfaces, all of which are critical for consistent, smooth slide action.

Dimensional Integrity with Minimum Moisture Absorption: Precise dimensions hold tolerances over time due to PEEK’s semi-crystalline nature, which minimizes moisture absorption.

Creating the right “Feel”: The retractable handle moves along two surfaces: polymer to polymer and polymer to stainless steel. An ergonomic design and high performance polymers insure the critical “feel” so important for fingertip control of the scalpel.