As anticipated in our overview of the Rapid event in Pittsburgh, Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), a leader in advanced materials science and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM) officially launched of nickel-plated OXFAB–Ni, offering 3D-printed PEKK-based parts that replace high performance aluminum alloys for aerospace and industrial applications.
OPM’s OXFAB technology is ideally suited for highly demanding end-market aerospace, satellite and defense applications where functional complexity and weight reduction can have a substantial and positive impact on performance, while also yielding cost and energy savings. OXFAB structures offer significant weight, cost and time-to-market reductions that are defined in a set of specified performance attributes in the exhaustive OPM B-Basis database, developed in conjunction with NASA and Northrop Grumman.
“We are very pleased to commercially launch OXFAB-Ni as this proprietary technology builds on our existing product portfolio to provide our customers with a new high performance additive manufacturing solution,” said Lawrence Varholak, President of OPM Aerospace & Industrial. “With the launch of OXFAB–Ni, OPM can now offer our aerospace and industrial customers nickel-plated, fully functional end-use 3D-printed structural parts with a flexural strength-to-weight ratio equivalent to high performance titanium alloys such as 6AL-4V.”
The principal material of construction for OXFAB–Ni is OPM’s proprietary PEKK (poly-ether-ketone-ketone) formulation, OXPEKK. This high performance polymeric material has an extraordinary range of benefits that include robust mechanical performance, extreme temperature tolerance, high purity, gamma stability, and extremely high chemical resistance.
Key performance characteristics of OXFAB–Ni include:
- Same weight & strength as high performance aluminum alloys
- Effective shield against radiation
- Near limitless shape
- 375°F capable
- Rapid manufacture
OXFAB is an elegant merger of the world’s highest performance thermoplastic and the world’s most robust and advanced additive manufacturing technology. This results in industrial structures that meet or significantly exceed the performance expectations in multiple industrial sectors, including aviation, defense, energy, semiconductor and nuclear.