Sartomer and Sirrus to develop fast-curing 3D printing resins

Sartomer, a subsidiary of French advanced materials company Arkema, has partnered with Ohio-based chemical start-up Sirrus to develop new fast-curing resins for 3D printing.

The resins are based on the copolymerization of methylene malonates and methacrylates, which is said to enhance the speed of the UV-curing process, according to Mark Holzer, Sirrus Vice President of Application Development:

“Research has demonstrated that methylene malonate comonomers can significantly enhance the UV-cure rate of some methacrylates.”

Sartomer 3D printing Center of Excellence. Photo via Sartomer.
Sartomer 3D printing Center of Excellence. Photo via Sartomer.

3D printing resins at Sartomer

Sartomer specializes in the development of advanced photocurable resin solutions for 3D printing. It is also a global supplier of (meth)acrylate monomers, oligomers, and other specialty chemicals used in a variety of market segments, like coatings, graphic arts, adhesives and more. 

Sartomer’s range of photocurable resins includes N3xtDimension for UV-curable 3D printing, and SAR-GEL, a material used to detect water at the bottom of fuel tanks. The company has been engaged in a number of partnerships to help develop new and advanced photocurable resins. For example, in late 2019, Sartomer partnered with EnvisionTEC, a global 3D printer and materials manufacturer, to develop a water-soluble resin known as E-Aquasol. The new solution is designed for use on EnvisionTEC’s proprietary Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing (cDLM) 3D printing platform, and it incorporates Sartomer’s UV-curable resin technology. 

In the same year, the company also collaborated with Continuous Composites, an additive manufacturing materials company based in Idaho, with the aim of advancing the development of additive manufacturing using composite material technology. The partnership involved the combination of their respective technologies: Continuous Composite’s patented Continuous Fiber 3D (CF3D) printing technology with Arkema’s photocurable resin solutions. 

Earlier in 2019, Sartomer’s parent firm Arkema announced it had opened a new production line at its plant in Nansha, China to increase the production of Sartomer 3D printing resins by 30 percent. 

3D printed medical device with Sartomer material. Photo via Sartomer.
3D printed medical device with Sartomer material. Photo via Sartomer.

Developing fast-curing resins for 3D printing

As with the previous collaborations mentioned, Sartomer’s partnership with Sirrus will leverage a combination of both their respective expertise. 

Founded in 2009, Sirrus is a developer of novel methylene malonate monomers and oligomers. Its chemical solutions are used by customers across a number of industries, in particular for coatings, adhesives, sealants, binders and other polymer products. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nippon Shokubai, a global chemical company and supplier of monomers, functional chemicals, and polymer catalysts. 

As such, Sirrus’ methylene malonate monomers will be leveraged with Sartomer’s methacrylate solutions to help develop the fast-curing 3D printing resins:  “The collaboration between Sirrus and Sartomer is yielding discoveries that are leading to development of new resins for 3D printing that will open up new regimes of printing and physical properties performance,” explains Jeff Klang, Global R&D Director – 3D Printing, Sartomer.

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Featured image shows Sirrus formulation in Petri dish. Photo via Sirrus.