Emery Oleochemicals’ Green Polymer Additives business unit has developed a binder system for 3D printing of sinterable metals and ceramics to further extend the material options available to the additive manufacturing industry.
Emery’s technical group began developing the company’s first binder system for metal injection molding in the early 1990s. Since then, applications have developed from powder injection molding (PIM) and powder extrusion to the latest stage of additive manufacturing using filaments made from sinterable feedstock.
These filaments contain a high content of metal or ceramic powder, usually greater than 80 percent by weight. After filament 3D printing, the part goes through post-processing steps involving solvent and thermal treatment steps to create the final full metal or ceramic part. Emery Oleochemicals has been working with partners such as Xerion to 3D print a variety of metal and ceramic parts.
Emery’s Green Polymer Additives binder and feedstock systems provide several sustainability and technology benefits. The parts have improved characteristics during the post-processing steps such as superior part strength and lower shrinkage.
Another advantage is that the same binder system that is used for prototyping via 3D printing can also be used for mass production via powder injection molding. For 3D printing, the feedstock filament can be processed by a standard filament printer just with a modified print head. Extensive experience and the versatility of Emery Oleochemicals’ binder system allow the adaption to a wide range of sinterable metal or ceramic powders.