Materials

INTAMSYS and Victrex partner to propel high-performance PAEK filament

FFF 3D printer manufacturer INTAMSYS has become the world’s first global reseller of polymer specialist Victrex’s new polyaryletherketone (PAEK) filament – VICTREX AM 200. The collaboration also marks INTAMSYS as the first company in Victrex’s proposed filament fusion network, which aims to facilitate and encourage the use of AM 200 and any future PAEK-based filaments across the globe. 

Jakob Sigurdsson, CEO of Victrex, states: “This new generation of Victrex additive manufacturing PAEK materials represents an important step forward and we are excited now to work closely with INTAMSYS. Due to excellent cooperation with companies and institutions that pursue innovation in additive manufacturing, such as INTAMSYS, as well as Victrex´s continued research, we have been making sustained progress toward creating truly innovative components based on the design freedom of additive manufacturing, combined with the high performance of PAEK.”

Part printed in VICTREX AM 200. Photo via INTAMSYS.
Part printed in VICTREX AM 200. Photo via INTAMSYS.

Optimized for additive manufacturing

According to INTAMSYS, most of the PEEK and PEKK filaments available on the market today, although 3D printing-suitable, were formulated for conventional manufacturing methods such as injection molding. As a result, they can be non-optimal for the additive extrusion process with poor inter-layer adhesion and weak z-strengths.

Victrex’s PAEK material aims to remedy this, as the company is claiming AM 200 was designed and optimized specifically for 3D printing. Used with an FFF 3D printer, the filament should have both a higher Z and XY strength when compared to any existing PAEK material.

Putting AM 200 to the test

INTAMSYS went about conducting some in-house tests with AM 200 using its own FUNMAT PRO 410 3D printer to see just what Victrex was raving about. With XY strengths of up to 90MPa and elongations of up to about 9%, the filament proved itself a worthy competitor to PEEK. The results also indicate that AM 200 has better interlayer adhesion than other unoptimized PAEK materials – at least on an INTAMSYS machine.

The duo attributes this to its slow crystallization rate and refined viscosity, enabling easier flow through the nozzle. The material’s low shear rates also result in greater open air stability once extrusion has taken place. AM 200’s high wear and temperature resistance, coupled with its fatigue and corrosion resistance, make it suitable for long term chemical-contacting applications.

INTAMSYS' in-house test data. Image via INTAMSYS.
INTAMSYS’ in-house test data. Image via INTAMSYS.

Polymers in the polyketone family are usually quite similar in their properties, but can have varying applications. Chemical company Evonik recently launched its Vestakeep i4 3DF PEEK filament specially designed for medical implants. The material meets ASTM F2026 requirements and is suitable for long-term bodily fluid contact.

Elsewhere, EOS has previously released a powdered high performance, carbon-fiber reinforced PEKK material for its polymer SLS systems. The high temperature HT-23 material was developed in collaboration with Boeing and is primarily for aerospace applications.

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Featured image shows part printed in VICTREX AM 200. Photo via INTAMSYS.

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