SABIC Gets Two European Plastics Innovation Awards

FDM produced aircraft seat and in-mold structural electronics highlighted.

Out of  the eight categories of the recent 2017 European Plastics Innovation Awards held in Brussels and organized by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and trade association PlasticsEurope, two awards went to SABIC. The two categories won included the Best Plastic Application Design and The Intelligent and Smart Plastics.

● The Best Plastic Application Design award was for a prototype 3D printed aircraft seat, designed by Studio Gavari and produced by Stratasys using its Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and filament made from SABIC’s Ultem PEI (polyetherimide) resin.

This award recognizes innovations in materials, process, or tooling technology used to achieve a part with a novel design. SABIC says that the advanced polymer, a breakthrough design and the efficient manufacturing process have come together to enable a lightweight and stylish design that can help save fuel while enhancing passenger’s flying experience.

SABIC licensed a Studio Gavari design for a sleek and ergonomically advanced aircraft seat. Additive manufacturing enabled rapid prototyping without the expense of tooling and demonstrated the potential for part consolidation and manufacturing efficiency. SABIC’s senior business manager for mass transportation Jignesh Amin said, “The prototype seat is created with SABIC’s Ultem 9085 resin, an aircraft-compliant material, meeting FAR 25.853 flame, smoke and OSU 65/65 heat release, that offers high heat resistance and mechanical strength.”  

As reported earlier this year, the company launched its own portfolio of high-performance filament grades, including Ultem AM9085F filament, which can be used for the production of applications targeted for the aerospace industry.

● The Intelligent and Smart Plastics award was for a thin 3D in-mold HMI (human-machine interface), developed by TactoTek, using an innovative injection molding technique incorporating advanced in-mold labelling (called In-Mold Structural Electronics). TactoTek used SABIC’s Lexan clear PC molding resin as well as Lexan thermoformable hard-coated PC film.

Said Gaicomo Parisi, marketing leader high-performance forms at SABIC, “The 3D In-Mold HMI part shows the In-Mold Structural Electronics (IMSE) is one of the key enabling technologies for the integration of electronics on curved surface.” This technology presents a highly intuitive way of enabling the user to communicate with a device or machine, while addressing the aesthetic aspects with equal effectiveness. The concept can be applied to a wide range of application domains—for example in automotive, appliances, home automation, and consumer electronics.