Evonik develops thermoplastic elastomers based on innovative copolyesters for powder-based 3D printing technologies
The result of Evonik’s acquisition of Structured Polymers technology, these innovative, high-performance materials the existing portfolio of polyamide-based powder formulations. Customers now have an even broader spectrum of products available to them, encompassing everything from flame-retardants to elastic, ready-to-use materials.
The new copolyester powders are highly elastic and flexible, yet exhibit excellent recovery. The powders are available in white or black depending on the application, and are suitable for use in common powder-based 3D printing technologies, such as selective laser sintering (SLS). At processing temperatures, the flow characteristics of the new powder formulations are also impressive, allowing manufacturers to make efficient use of the full installation height of the powder bed during the 3D printing process.
Compared to other flexible materials available on the market for SLS, the new, ready-to-use copolyesters from Evonik remain tough and flexible after printing, with no sacrifice in surface quality.
3D parts are typically produced in white and then dyed depending on the application. In addition to white, Evonik’s new copolyesters are now available as a black powder as well so that parts can be printed directly in that color.
Applications for Evonik’s newly developed material range from athletic equipment, such as individual protectors for extreme athletes, to sophisticated technical components and functional design objects. The new powder materials are scheduled for market launch in the first quarter of 2020.
The 3D printing market is booming, with growth rates in the double digits. Within this market, Evonik is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyamide (PA) 12 powders, which have been used in additive production technologies for over 20 years now. In addition to its PEEK filament and PA 12 powders, the company’s product portfolio also includes flexible PEBA powders and a wide array of additives such as dispersing agents, flow enhancers, and reactive modifiers.