Evonik to Double Nylon 12 Powder Production

Growth of 3D printing and thermoplastic composites cited as key contributors to Evonik’s substantial investment.

Growth of 3D printing and thermoplastic composites cited as key contributors to Evonik’s substantial investment.

 

The market leader in the production of nylon 12 powders, Germany’s Evonik Industries (U.S. office in Parsippany, N.J.) has announced plans for a major investment—in the mid- double-digit million euro range—for a new production line for nylon 12 powder at its Marl facility. Slated for start-up in late 2017, the expansion will boost annual capacity by 50 percent.

 

What is particularly interesting is that the company cites two “growth fields” as contributing to the decision to move ahead with this investment: 3D printing and thermoplastic composites. This, in addition to steady growth in the traditional uses for nylon 12 powders, which are sold by Evonik under the brand of Vestosint—modified nylon 12 powder manufactured at the Marl site from a nylon 12 granulate, using a proprietary Evonik process. For example, such powders are used to coat metals for household appliances such as dishwasher baskets, but also in automotive and medical technology production and as matting and structural agents in coatings.

 

Evonik anticipates significant increases in demand in tool-free production—especially in the 3D printing industry. “We project attractive market growth. The new production line in Marl will meet the growing demand for PA12 powder products in the long term to support our customers’ growth,” said Claus Rettig, chairman of the board of management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH. Due to their mechanical properties and chemical resistance as well as the high melting point of finished products, nylon 12 powders are particularly suitable for use in powder-based 3D printing processes such as selective laser sintering (SLS) and high-speed sintering (HSS).

 

In addition, Evonik is aiming its investment to the fiber composite materials field. Nylon 12 powders are said to be an ideal matrix for thermoplastic composites made of fiberglass and carbon fibers, as well as aramid or steel fibers. Applications can be found in the automotive and oil drilling industries, as well as the sports sector and in orthopedics. 

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