Victrex has positioned itself as a ‘world leader in PEEK and PAEK-based polymer solutions’ for additive manufacturing, and its latest materials promise to add new properties to the high strength sector.
The first of these is a high strength material for laser sintering that attains lower refresh rates, resulting in improved recycling for unsintered powder.
The second is a filament that claims better Z-strength than existing polyaryletherketone (PAEK) materials and better printability for FDM 3D printing.
Victrex chief scientist John Grasmeder, explains: “Breakthrough technology is paving the way for an exciting future for additive manufacturing PAEK. The powder recycle work for laser sintering, using the new Victrex development polymer grades has gone very well, with no measurable loss of properties when test components were made from partially recycled powder.
“We believe it will be possible to re-use all of the non-sintered powder that is recovered after a build run.
“This will result in a significant reduction in material costs compared to current PAEK materials where up to 40 per cent of the polymer is wasted and cannot be recycled.”
Victrex CEO Jakob Sigurdsson, commented: “The exciting progress is based on continued intense R&D at Victrex and excellent collaboration within the Victrex led consortium of companies and institutions pursuing innovation in additive manufacturing.
“Through this consortium, we’re already seeing demonstrator parts that show how AM processes, coupled with high-performance materials, transform thinking to create truly innovative parts based on increased design possibilities.”
The new Victrex PAEK filament and powder tie in with technologies developed by other members of the consortium as part of an Innovate UK project, including EOS’ plastics laser sintering EOS P 500 platform, which boasts the capability to print high-performance polymers at high temperatures.
The detailed technical results are expected to be presented at the bi-annual Additive Manufacturing conference of the University of Exeter Center for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM), in September 2018.