German specialty chemicals company Evonik has launched a new ready-to-use PEEK filament suited to the 3D printing of industrial plastic parts.
The high-temperature material, named INFINAM PEEK 9359 F, is compatible with extrusion-based 3D printing processes such as FDM and FFF and is designed as a metal replacement for “infinite” industrial 3D printing applications.
“Following the commercial success of the PEEK filament for medical technology, we are now expanding the product range to include an industrial material grade,” said Sylvia Monsheimer, head of Additive Manufacturing and New 3D Technologies at Evonik.
“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 applications.”
Evonik’s 3D printing portfolio
Under its Smart Materials division, Evonik’s product offering includes 3D software and a broad range of polymer printing materials, many of which it rebranded under the INFINAM name in October 2020. The INFINAM portfolio includes the firm’s PEEK, impact-resistant photopolymer (TI), thermoplastic copolyester (TPC), and amide (TPA) printing materials, although its biomaterials remained separate from the rebrand.
One of Evonik’s main focuses has been on developing its materials for various applications in the medical sector, a move which saw the company sign a long-term agreement with 3D printed scaffold developer BellaSeno to develop 3D printed breast scaffolds using its RESOMER line of materials.
In February last year, Evonik developed a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) bioresorbable powder for the production of 3D printed implantable medical devices with the potential to prevent bone loss, and shortly afterward introduced a new PEEK filament certified for medical use to create 3D printed plastic surgical implants.
Since then, Evonik has secured a minority stake in Chinese industrial SLA 3D printer manufacturer UnionTech as it prepares to introduce a set of new formulations to its INFINAM photopolymer product line, and, as part of its long-standing partnership with multinational printing firm HP, has also produced a co-branded flexible specialty TPA powder optimized for HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology.
Having seen commercial success with its PEEK filament for medical applications, Evonik has now made the move to expand its PEEK product range to include an industrial-grade material.
Replacing metal within industrial AM applications
INFINAM PEEK 9359 F expands Evonik’s 3D printing materials portfolio into industrial applications, specifically 3D printed industrial plastic parts. The ready-to-use filament is suitable for use in standard FDM and FFF 3D printers for PEEK materials, and is engineered to exhibit high mechanical strength, hydrolysis resistance, and flame retardancy.
Thanks to these properties, the filament can be used for the production of lightweight and high-performance 3D printed components within the aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas sectors. Parts printed from INFINAM PEEK 9359 F can withstand the long-lasting effects of temperatures up to 250 degrees celsius, and short-term effects of temperatures up to 300 degrees celsius, making the material a potential replacement for metal parts within these sectors.
Parts printed with Evonik’s industrial PEEK filament are reportedly 80 percent lighter and 30 percent tougher than those made from stainless steel, while exhibiting excellent fatigue resistance. Coupled with significant wear resistance and low sliding friction, the filament’s properties make it an appropriate choice for manufacturing lightweight, structural components.
INFINAM PEEK 9359 F is “natural” in color and has a diameter of 1.75 mm wound on 500 g spools. The industrial-grade filament joins Evonik’s range of 3D printing materials under its INFINAM brand.
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Featured image shows INFINAM PEEK 9359 F high perfomance polymer as a metal replacement for additive manufacturing of demanding industrial plastic parts. Photo via Evonik.