WEB EXCLUSIVE: What is said to be the first range of nylon 6 powders specifically developed for SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) additive-layer rapid manufacturing of complex parts is now available from Rhodia Engineering Plastics
, Cranbury, N.J., a unit of Solvay's Engineering Plastics business
(U.S. office in Alpharetta, Ga.). Parts made with Sinterline nylon 6 powders reportedly display heat resistance and stiffness similar to injection molded nylon 6. Solvay says these powders extend the limits of rapid manufacturing, enabling cost-effective production of functional prototypes and short-run parts.
In France, Solution D/E2R, a company specializing in engineering and rapid prototyping techniques for recreational vehicles and aerospace applications, has used Sinterline to manufacture parts such as air-intake ducts and brake-fluid tanks. Other parts are under development to equip the cockpit of the Solar Impulse, the pioneering solar-powered plane for which Solvay is a main partner. The excellent surface finish offered by Sinterline is expected to help broaden the range of SLS parts, according to Hermann Hanning, technical manager of LSS Laser Sinter Service GmbH, one of Europe’s rapid prototyping specialists. “We are convinced that it will quickly establish itself as the ideal material for numerable automotive and electronics applications.”
Dramatic New Potential for Circuitry Printed on Plastics
Printed circuit boards reduced to a thin, flexible film; and electronic parts like cell-phone antennas made with one- step, chemical-free application of circuitry—both are being developed with novel conductive inks that make printing of electrical circuitry on rigid and flexible plastics much easier and less expensive than ever before.