Solvay aims to take additive manufacturing (AM) to the next level with the launch of three specialty polymer filaments that promise to introduce game-changing performance for 3D printed parts. These are based primarily on PEEK and PEEK composites, the demand of which has been increasing exponentially in polymer-based additive manufacturing. The company is also launching an eCommerce website entirely dedicate to AM-related products.
Based on the company’s high-performing KetaSpire PEEK and Radel PPSU polymers, the three filaments were unveiled at RAPID + TCT 2018 and represent the first products in what Solvay plans to become a broader portfolio of specialty polymer filaments and powders designed specifically for high-end AM applications.
Two of the three filaments leverage Solvay’s high-performance KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymer: a neat PEEK product and a 10-percent carbon fiber-reinforced grade. Both PEEK filaments are designed to allow excellent fusion of printed layers, enable high part density and deliver exceptional part strength – including in the z-axis.
A PEEK at Digimat 2018
Solvay further established itself as an emerging leader in specialty polymers for additive manufacturing (AM) today with the news that high-performance KetaSpire PEEK AM filament will be the first polyetheretherketone polymer included in e-Xstream engineering’s Digimat simulation software due for launch in June 2018.
“KetaSpire PEEK’s inclusion in Digimat represents Solvay’s latest step toward becoming the industry’s leading resource for successfully applying advanced polymers in 3D printing processes,” said Christophe Schramm, business manager for additive manufacturing at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “Solvay is building on its long-standing partnership with e-Xstream engineering to quickly expand the number of specialty polymers available for simulation on the Digimat platform, and ultimately enable our customers to ‘print it right the first time’ when using Solvay’s high-performing thermoplastics.”
Part of the latest edition of Digimat 2018.1, Digimat for Additive Manufacturing will enable designers and engineers to accurately predict warpage and residual stresses of 3D printed KetaSpire PEEK parts as a function of additive manufacturing processes, such as fused filament fabrication (FFF). With Digimat for Additive Manufacturing, users can further optimize their process and minimize part deformation before 3D-printing their parts. Digimat 2018.1 is due for global release this June, but Solvay customers can contact Solvay today to benefit from the new dataset describing KetaSpire PEEK’s material laws.
“Solvay’s combination of industry-leading materials, expertise and collaborative innovation enabled us to develop highly accurate predictive modeling data for KetaSpire PEEK AM filaments,” said Roger Assaker, CEO of e-Xstream engineering and chief material strategist for e-Xstream’s parent company, MSC Software. “As a result, Digimat simulation software offers additive manufacturers cutting-edge new material options to push the design boundaries of their 3D-printed parts.”
Not just PEEK
The third new filament is based on Solvay’s Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU). Also formulated to allow excellent fusion of layers, this high-performance PPSU material offers high transparency, excellent elongation and superior toughness for 3D printed parts.
Looking ahead, Solvay is further developing an AM-ready powder based on its NovaSpire polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) polymer, which will target AM applications in aerospace and healthcare.
“Solvay’s new AM filaments signal an important convergence between additive manufacturing and specialty polymers technology, which is needed to deliver on the promise of high-end 3D printing,”
Christophe Schramm, business manager for additive manufacturing, Solvay Specialty Polymers global business unit.
A PEEK at Solvay’s eCommerce
“With today’s launch, Solvay is laying the foundation of its strategy to become the leading global supplier of advanced AM-ready polymer solutions for 3D printing technologies – Schramm added. We’re also collaborating with leading industry innovators in printing, process and design to develop new material solutions based on our specialty polymers portfolio.”
Solvay’s strategically proactive approach to the AM industry also prompted the launch of a new e-commerce platform at www.solvayamshop.com. This platform is designed to provide a better customer experience to the fast-growing number of AM technology users by giving them direct and timely access to Solvay’s advanced AM material solutions, as well as transparent pricing. The site will also serve as a portal to a series of simulation, testing, and prototyping services that leverage Solvay’s growing partner network and open ecosystem approach.