Materials: First 3D Printing Flexible Material Based on PEBA
3D printed parts made from Evonik’s PEBA powder boast high flexibility, resistance to chemicals and outstanding durability.
What is reportedly the world’s first flexible plastic material based on PEBA (polyether block amide) for use in 3D printing has been launched by Germany’sEvonik (U.S. office in Parsippany, N.J.). The development of this high-performance powder expands Evonik’s existing product portfolio of synthetic materials for 3D printing. The company is a world leader in nylon 12 powders, which have been used in 3D printing for over 20 years.
Printed parts produced with this PEBA powder show a high degree of flexibility, excellent chemical resistance, and outstanding durability over a wide temperature range from -40C/-40F to 90C/194F. The new PEBA material is suitable for a variety of powder-based 3D printing technologies such as laser sintering (LS), high-speed sintering *HSS or binder jetting.
This flexible synthetic powder was optimized for use EOS laser sintering systems as part of an intensive development collaboration between Evonik and the leading technology provider for industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers. It has been successfully adopted into the material portfolios of multiple service providers. EOS markets the powder material under the name “PrimePart ST”.
Said Fabian Stoever, senior product manager for polymers at Germany’s EOS (U.S. office in Novi, Mich.) “Flexible polymer materials significantly expand the options for additive manufacturing because they allow us to realize new, demanding applications in attractive markets. In addition, the variety of materials not only enables us to product individual high-tech functional components, but also to develop much more sophisticated 3D concept that make use of the entire material range.”
3D printing expands possibilities for plastic parts, short-run molds and production mold tooling. Here are just 10 of the ways 3D printing is advancing:
Many plastics processors are just starting to become familiar with the terms “additive manufacturing” or “additive fabrication,” which refer to a group of processes that build up parts by successively adding material, often in layers.
Perhaps you have heard that additive manufacturing—a.k.a. 3D printing—can be used to make injection tooling inserts out of plastics—relatively quickly, at relatively low cost, and with little human labor involved.