Evonik Industries, a major chemical company and manufacturer of 3D printing materials, has closed down its Witten plant. The company produced polyphthalamide (PPA), synthetic nylon used in high-temperature applications at the German facility.
The reason behind the decision is to focus on Evonik’s new plant currently under construction at the Marl Chemical Park in North Rhine-Westphalia. At the Marl plant, the company manufactures VESTOSINT, a proprietary polyamide (PA12) powder used in 3D printing.
VESTOSINT, customizable PA12
Created in 2007 after restructuring RAG, the largest coal mining corporation in Germany, Evonik is one of the largest speciality chemical producers. The company manufactures powders used in various 3D printing technologies. One product is VESTOSINT polyamide powder which can be customized for use in for SLS, High Speed Sintering (HSS), and Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing.
Evonik has been strengthening its 3D printing business, as earlier this year, the company acquired the Austin-based startup Structured Polymers, a producer of colored powders for SLS.
The €400 million VESTOSINT facility has been under construction at Marl Chemical Park since 2018, where Evonik’s is now directing its resources.
Dr. Ralf Düssel, General Manager High Performance Polymers at Evonik, said, “Reorganizing our polyamide business will concentrate our production and innovative strengths on specialty materials for promising applications in attractive markets such as lightweight construction, additive manufacturing, and composites. This, in turn, will give us a solid foundation for continuous growth.”
“For our customers, the move will mean a more intense focus on developing sophisticated specialty solutions.”
Covering about sixteen hectares of land, the Witten facility was one of Evonik’s largest producers of materials for paints and coating industry. It employed nearly three hundred people, who will now be moved to the Marl facility.
Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, Evonik’s Head of the Product Line Granules and Compounds, said, “As we focus our marketing activities on high-performance polymers, we will be utilizing internal synergies to accommodate our long-serving Witten employees with secure jobs at the new polyamide 12 production facility in Marl, where we will be able to draw upon their decades of proven experience in polymer production and compounding.”
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Featured image shows processing of VESTOSINT PA12 at Evonik. Photo via Evonik.