Evonik develops PEBA powder for 3D printing
Evonik has developed the world’s first flexible plastic material based on PEBA (polyether block amide) for use in 3D printing. The new high-performance powder stands out for its high elasticity and strength and is suitable for a variety of powder-based 3D printing technologies.
3D printed parts made from the new PEBA powder show a high degree of flexibility, excellent resistance to chemicals and outstanding durability over a wide temperature range from -40°C to 90°C. The powder is also ideally suited for the manufacture of functional 3D high-tech plastic parts – for prototypes as well as series products.
“Flexible polymer materials significantly expand the options for additive manufacturing because they allow us to realise new, demanding applications in attractive markets,” says Fabian Stoever, senior product manager for polymers at EOS, a provider of high-end solutions in the area of additive manufacturing from Germany. “In addition, the variety of materials not only enables us to produce individual high-tech functional components, but also to develop much more sophisticated 3D concepts that make use of the entire material range.”
Evonik's PEBA material is suitable for a variety of powder-based 3D printing technologies such as laser sintering (LS), high speed sintering (HSS) or binder jetting. The flexible synthetic powder was optimised for use in EOS laser sintering systems as part of an intensive development collaboration between the specialty chemicals company and the leading technology provider for industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers. It has been successfully adopted into the material portfolios of multiple service providers. EOS markets the powder material under the name "PrimePart ST".
“New innovative products that are developed in bespoke projects in close cooperation with our customers form an important cornerstone of our organic growth,” notes Thomas Große-Puppendahl, head of the Engineered Products Product Line at Evonik.
The development of the flexible high-performance powder expands Evonik’s existing product portfolio of synthetic materials for 3D printing. The specialty chemicals company is a world leader in the production of polyamide 12 powders (PA 12), which have been used in 3D printing for over 20 years. Evonik produces the powder materials at its largest global site, the Marl Chemical Park.
Caption: Evonik will showcase its offering for 3D printing at the Fakuma tradeshow in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 16 to 20 October (photo: Evonik)