Evonik, the largest speciality chemicals company in the world, has opened a new Polyamide 12 (PA12) powder production plant to meet an increased demand for 3D printing materials and metal coatings.
The new Marl Chemical Park facility near Essen, Germany, will primarily produce Evonik’s VESTOSINT brand of PA12 powders, which is optimized for SLS 3D printing. A “double-digit million Euro” investment, the plant will see Evonik’s annual production of PA 12 increase by 50%.
Evonik and VESTOSINT
Evonik manufactures high-performance powders from a base of PA12 granulate using a proprietary production process.
VESTOSINT powders for 3D printing have a spherical shape, giving them strong mechanical properties, high chemical resistance, and a high fusion point, all of which makes them ideal for methods such as SLS 3D printing.
Claus Rettig, chairman of the Management Board of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH said,
“The new production capacities will enable us to assume an even more prominent role in the global growth of attractive markets such as the coatings industry or 3D printing,”
“In addition, we are able to develop new, customized polymer powders even faster and more flexibly in order to support our customers’ strong growth and thus of our polyamide 12 powder business,” Rettig continued.
Evonik, Smart Materials, and Open Materials
As part of its R&D, Evonik has launched a Smart Materials growth program, which aims to increase the performance and efficiency of products with improved materials. Under this initiative, the company is aiming to capture the additive manufacturing materials market.
“Polyamide 12 is part of our strategic Smart Materials growth engine that involves optimizing the performance and efficiency of products with improved materials,” said Harald Schwager, Evonik Industries’ deputy executive board chairman.
“We significantly expanded our polyamide 12 powder plant in Marl in order to support the development of future-oriented technologies such as 3-D printing with innovative solutions.”
Alongside this internal R&D, Evonik has participated in the HP Open Materials program since 2016, widening the palette of materials compatible with HP 3D printers and maintaining a broad range of suppliers.
HP’s program was enhanced last year with the release of the Materials Development Kit, which facilitates early screening of 3D printing materials prior to certification.
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Featured image shows, from left, Dr. Claus Rettig, Chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH, Dr. Ralf Düssel, Head of the High Performance Polymers Business Line of Evonik, Werner Arndt, Mayor of the City of Marl, Dr. Jörg Harren, Site Manager Chemiepark Marl of Evonik Technology & Infrastructure GmbH, Dr. Harald Schwager, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of the Evonik Industries AG, Dr. Matthias Kottenhahn, Head of Strategy & Projects of Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH. Photo via Evonik.