As one of the top specialty chemicals companies, with activity in more than 100 different countries around the world, Evonik knows a thing or two when it comes to 3D printing materials. Last year, the company developed and introduced a PEEK, or polyether ether ketone, filament for FDM 3D printing of medical implants, and this week has announced its latest PEEK 3D printing material. The filament, launched under the brand name INFINAM® PEEK 9359 F, is meant for industrial 3D printing applications with the more common extrusion-based (FFF/FDM) technologies.
“Following the commercial success of the PEEK filament for medical technology, we are now expanding the product range to include an industrial material grade. We use our innovative strength in polymer chemistry to constantly develop and bring to the market new filaments, powders, or photopolymers to diversify the material landscape and thereby enable new infinite 3D applications,” Sylvia Monsheimer, who heads Additive Manufacturing & New 3D Technologies at Evonik, stated in a press release.
Evonik’s new high-performance, ready-to-use INFINAM® PEEK 9359 F material is a chemical- and high temperature-resistant polymer, and sounds like it would be a good choice for 3D printing industrial plastic parts, rather than using metal material. PEEK is a pretty fascinating material: in addition to medical applications, the thermoplastic’s high strength and continuous service temperatures, low flame smoke and toxicity, and excellent thermal stability and chemical inertia, mean that it’s often used to make highly demanding automotive and aerospace components.
“INFINAM® PEEK 9359 F is a high-performance, industrial grade PEEK filament that is easy to process in FFF(FDM) printers. Its unique properties make it suitable for fields of aerospace, transportation, oil and gas, etc. to manufacture lightweight and high-performance parts,” the Evonik website states.
INFINAM® PEEK 9359 F comes in a natural color, with a diameter of 1.75 mm, and is wound onto 500 g spools that can be used in most standard FFF and FDM 3D printers for PEEK materials. The polymer has a lot of interesting properties: beyond what we’ve already listed, it has hydrolysis resistance, or inherent flame retardancy, as well as high mechanical strength, great wear and fatigue resistance, and low sliding friction. Parts 3D printed using this material are said to be capable of withstanding short-lasting temperature effects of over 300℃, or long-lasting temperature effects of 250℃. According to Evonik’s website, the material’s unique crystallization offers much better adhesion between vertical layers, and has a better wave transmission performance than metal.
Speaking of metal, Evonik says that parts 3D printed with its new INFINAM® PEEK 9359 F weigh about 80% less, and are 30% tougher, than equivalent parts made with stainless steel. With all of these combined properties, the material should work well for 3D printing lightweight, high-performance parts for demanding applications, like in the automotive, aerospace, and oil & gas industries, that would normally be made with metal.
Evonik’s Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field is focused on creating and manufacturing new high-performance 3D printing materials. As such, the company has organized its range of ready-to-use AM materials here, under its new INFINAM® brand.
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