Solvay takes lead role, aligns special polymers

Solvay, a supplier of high performance polymers, has recently declared that it is committed to taking a leadership role in aligning its world-class specialty polymers and engineering plastics with the fast-growing trend toward additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, better known as 3D printing.

Solvay’s expanding 3D printing capabilities are part of the group’s global leadership in advanced light-weighting solutions to replace metals. As part of this commitment, and building on Solvay’s established AM technical center and production facility for Sinterline® Technyl® in Lyon, France, Solvay has opened a new laboratory at its Research & Innovation Center in Alpharetta, Georgia, to forward the development of its advanced materials for AM. In addition to this, Solvay has established a facility at its campus in Brussels, Belgium, dedicated to AM software design and development powered by Digimat™ from e-Xstream, an MSC Software company.

Solvay’s materials and manufacturing expertise have already contributed to a 3D printed part for the Polimotor 2 all-plastic engine, designed and developed by industry pioneer Matti Holtzberg. The part is a plenum chamber, 3D printed by selective laser sintering (SLS) using Solvay’s Sinterline® Technyl® polyamide 6 (PA6) powder grade reinforced with a 40 percent loading of glass beads.

Solvay is developing other specialty polymers for AM in Alpharetta, including AvaSpire® polyaryletherketone (PAEK), KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK), and Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), and polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) compatible with SLS.