Global specialty chemicals company, Solvay has announced a cooperation agreement with additive manufacturing leader, Stratasys to develop new high-performance materials for exclusive use in its FDM F900 3D printers.
The announcement came during RAPID + TCT last week as the companies outlined plans to co-develop a filament based on Solvay’s Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) polymer to meet stringent FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) 25.853 compliance for use in aerospace applications. The collaboration builds on Solvay’s 25-year expertise in developing Radel PPSU grades specifically for use in aircraft cabin interior components which are compliant with all commercial and regulatory requirements for flammability, smoke density, heat release, and toxic gas emissions.
Christophe Schramm, business manager for Additive Manufacturing for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit commented: “Stratasys’ customers have been repeatedly asking for more varied, high-performance materials, while many of Solvay’s customers want our high-performance polymers to be enabled for use on Stratasys’ industrial 3D printing systems. This important partnership between our two companies now allows us to fulfil these burgeoning needs.”
Both companies aim to commercialise this new Radel PPSU filament next year with additional high-performance products for key AM end-use markets expected to follow.
Rich Garrity, President, Stratasys Americas said: “Solvay is a trusted leader of diverse, tested materials for demanding aerospace, automotive, and medical industries. We’re proud to have this new collaboration agreement in place which will give customers the ability to further expand FDM 3D printing into production applications.”
Furthering its commitment to additive manufacturing, last year Solvay introduced the first specialty 3D printing filaments based on its Radel PPSU and KetaSpire PEEK polymers and later launched a trio of medical-grade filaments designed for healthcare applications. Meanwhile, Stratasys F900 system, also launched last Spring, has already been adopted by a number of aerospace and transportation customers including GKN Aerospace and UK-based engineering service provider, Dash-CAE.
Schramm added: “This partnership with Stratasys is an important step in Solvay’s strategy to build a solid, diverse AM ecosystem to better serve our customers. The combination of Solvay’s materials’ selection and expertise with Stratasys’ high quality, repeatable 3D printing capabilities will open up new possibilities for additive manufacturing in more of the industries that we serve today for ‘traditional’ manufacturing.”