Solvay and e-Xstream engineering expand materials simulation for 3D printing

Belgian chemical company Solvay, has announced that it has added two new high-performance 3D printing polymers to e-Xstream engineering’s Digimat-AM platform for material simulation. The new additions include carbon fiber reinforced PEEK and high-toughness PPSU. By making them available through Digimat-AM Solvay hopes to broaden the potential of these materials and strengthen its position within the market.

Christophe Schramm, Additive Manufacturing Business Manager at Solvay Speciality Polymers, comments, “Our growing range of AM filaments underscores Solvay’s determination to establish itself as an industry leader in this rapidly evolving market,”

“Digimat-AM allows customers to simulate the printing process and successfully predict the thermomechanical behaviour of 3D printed designs to ‘print right the first time.’”

Print right the first time

With a heritage of over 150 years, Solvay makes materials for a wide variety of industries. Seeking to become a leader in the additive manufacturing market, the company launched its Speciality Polymers range sold through the Solvay AM Shop e-commerce platform. Solvay filaments are sold under the KetaSpire (PEEK and CFR PEEK) and Radel (PPSU) brand names. NovaSpire is the company’s powdered polymer brand, and NovaSpire PEEK is currently available for sampling.

In partnership with Luxembourg simulation software company e-Xstream engineering, all of Solvay’s 3D printing materials are listed on the Digimat-AM platform.

Solvay material parameter simulation in Digimat-AM platform. Image via Solvay
Solvay material parameter simulation in Digimat-AM platform. Image via Solvay

Users applying Digimat-AM to their production have the benefit of using material parameters to influence the design, production and performance of end-use parts. For a materials provider using the platform, Digimat-AM also helps expedite development time through simulation rather than physical testing.

Roger Assaker, CEO of e-Xstream engineering, comments, “With the addition of Solvay’s new AM grades, we now have a wider portfolio of 3D printing grades in Digimat to provide cutting-edge new materials to push the design and application boundaries in this dynamic market.”

BASF receives EU clearance to buy Solvay global polyamides

Solvay is currently amidst an impending business deal between the company and BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world.

In October 2017, BASF pledged the acquisition of Solvay’s global polyamide business, a deal valued at around €1.6 billion. At present, the transaction remains open, though BASF has just received approval from the European Commission.

EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, commented, “Our decision will allow for creation of a significant European player in the market because the commitments offered by BASF and Solvay ensure that the merger will not lead to higher prices or less choice for European businesses.”

The deal between the two companies is expected to formally close some time in the second half of 2019 subject to approval from Chinese authorities.

Solvay AM Filaments for Healthcare. Photo via Solvay.
Solvay AM Filaments. Photo via Solvay.

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Featured image shows samples of Solvay filaments. Photo via Solvay