Evonik (U.S. office in Parsippany, N.J). has acquired technology startup for 3D printing materials Structured Polymers Inc., Austin, Texas. The move provides Evonik access to a new patented technology that will allow the company to expand its portfolio of specialty polymer powders in the additive manufacturing market. Structured Products will be integrated into Evonik’s North American business but will retain its Austin headquarters.
“The acquisition of Structured Polymers’ technology excellently complements our existing activities with high-performance polymers for additive manufacturing. Thanks to our decades of expertise in polymer chemistry, this means we will expand our portfolio of customized, ready-to-use polymer materials for the highly attractive, rapidly growing 3D printing market, thus giving us a key role in shaping development of that market,” said Dr. Ralph Marquardt, the head of Strategy and Growth Businesses for Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH. “
Structured Polymers’ innovative technology starts with a polymer granulate, which is converted to a fine powder through various process steps. This makes it possible to produce polymer powders with controlled particle sizes ranging in diameter between 0.1 and 400 µm, while achieving excellent material properties.
According to Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, the head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field at Evonik, this new technology allows them to take virtually any semi-crystalline thermoplastic, such as PBT PEK, or nylon 6, or polymer powders with specialized properties like color, conductivity, or flame protection, and produce them for common powder-based 3D printing processes, such as selective laser sintering (SLS), high-speed sintering, or multi-jet fusion. Evonik also anticipates that Structured Polymers’ technology can be scaled up easily and economically. Evonik is the world’s leading manufacturer of nylon 12 powders, which have been used in additive production technologies for over 20 years. In addition to its PEEK filament and nylon 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.
At the 2019 North American International Auto Show, Carbon unveiled the first digitally manufactured polymer parts in production for Ford Motor Co.