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Sabic Launches “Open” High Performance Filaments and Commits to AM

SABIC, a global leader in thermoplastic technology, unveiled today at RAPID + TCT 2017 a new portfolio of high-performance filament grades for fused deposition modeling. The new products, being showcased in booth #2537, address growing global demand for greater material choices in the industrial filament market and lay the groundwork for SABIC’s strategy to help drive the growth of additive manufacturing from a prototyping technology to full-scale production. In addition to a long history of materials innovation, SABIC offers the expertise and resources to support testing, design and development of new additive manufacturing technologies.

“The launch of our first six new filaments, backed by SABIC’s world-class portfolio of high-performance engineering thermoplastics, will help us establish a pathway to introduce future breakthrough material solutions for additive manufacturing,” said Lori Louthan, director, Mass Transportation, SABIC. “We are applying our extensive materials and processing expertise to create new filaments with higher performance than current offerings with the goal of expanding their use into the development of production parts. Just as we’ve done for other plastics conversion processes in the past, SABIC aims to make an important contribution to the growth and success of our customers and the additive manufacturing industry through advanced materials and processes.”

Greater Customer Choice

SABIC’s new filaments, designed for use with Stratasys® Fortus® printers, are based on the company’s industry-leading ULTEM™ polyetherimide (PEI) resin, CYCOLAC™ acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin and LEXAN™ polycarbonate (PC) resin, and offer the same composition as the company’s injection molding grades. Manufacturers can use the filaments to produce a range of high-performance, durable end-use parts.

These new materials solutions directly address the need for greater options in the industrial filament market and target a broad range of customer requirements. Both ABS and PC are well-established materials for additive manufacturing of prototypes and end use parts, while SABIC’s ULTEM (PEI) filament is desirable for demanding applications that require high heat resistance, high strength, and low flame, smoke and toxicity (FST).

More specifically, these products include:

  • ULTEM™ AM9085F filament – This is a high-performance PEI product manufactured from ULTEM™ 9085 resin. This product provides high heat resistance and mechanical strength, is UL94 V-0 compliant at 1.5 and 3.0 mm, and meets FAR 25.853 and OSU 65/65 requirements with low FST evolution. It is available in black and natural (unpigmented) colors.
  • CYCOLAC™ AMMG94F filament – This is a general-purpose ABS product manufactured from CYCOLAC™ MG94 resin. It provides a balance of properties suitable for a wide variety of applications, and is UL94 HB compliant at 3.0 mm. It is available in black, white and natural (unpigmented) colors.
  • LEXAN™ AM1110F filament – This general-purpose PC product is manufactured from LEXAN™ HF1110 resin. It provides thermal properties higher than those of general-purpose ABS filaments, is UL94 V-2 compliant at 3.0 mm and is available in white.

The nominal diameter of all SABIC’s filament products is 1.79 mm ± 0.05 mm and they are available in a 1510cc spool size.

Upcoming Materials for 3D Printing Applications

SABIC is also showing at RAPID + TCT, applications printed from its disruptive, developmental materials that have been designed for fused deposition modeling and can offer improved performance versus currently available products. These materials include:

  • High impact strength polycarbonate filament for more robust performance during processing and secondary operations, as well as the ability to withstand high-impact end-use conditions
  • Polycarbonate and ULTEM healthcare filaments made with SABIC healthcare grade resins, enabling printed parts with excellent mechanical performance, sterilizability and biocompatibility
  • High-impact strength ULTEM™ filament designed with the benefits of ULTEM™ 9085 resin but with greater toughness
  • Flame, smoke and toxicity compliant polycarbonate filament for use in demanding aerospace applications
  • EXTEM thermoplastic polyimide filament with heat resistance exceeding that of ULTEM filament
  • Breakaway support materials for SABIC’s ULTEM, PC, and ABS filaments, providing additional choice in filament material supply

With a broad and growing portfolio of high-performance materials and state-of-the-art equipment at its global Centers of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing, SABIC is bringing together the resources and expertise required to create a highly supportive research environment to help advance fused deposition modeling and other additive manufacturing technologies.

Materials innovations to expand the capabilities of AM

SABIC is working on innovations beyond the new materials launched today for fused deposition modeling and large format additive manufacturing. At its booth, the company is highlighting several disruptive material solutions that can offer improved performance versus currently available products:

  • Polycarbonate (PC) materials for selective laser sintering (SLS): SABIC is developing a technology to enable laser sintering of PC materials with good mechanical properties and part densities above 96 percent. These materials may provide an alternative to polyamide 12 (PA 12) and can be processed using commercially available printers.
  • EXTEM polyimide (PI) filaments for fused deposition modeling: These filaments represent SABIC’s ongoing focus on developing differentiated, high-temperature solutions for additive manufacturing. The materials are suitable for applications requiring higher temperature performance than ULTEM™ polyetherimide (PEI) filaments.
  • High-impact-strength PC filaments for fused deposition modeling: These materials offer improved impact resistance compared to other commercially available PC filaments, and can be processed at standard PC conditions. Potential advantages include reduced part damage in secondary operations, and higher levels of performance in end-use applications.

Application Highlights

To demonstrate the practical application of its new materials for large format additive manufacturing, SABIC is exhibiting a section of a boat hull from Livrea Yacht, which was printed on SABIC’s Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine. The outer layer of the hull uses a carbon fiber-reinforced polyphenylene ether (PPE) compound, and the inner lattice support structure is printed from a carbon fiber-reinforced ULTEM PEI compound. Using large format additive manufacturing for this application reduces the need for costly molds and prototyping, and yields a lighter, stronger hull in half the time versus traditional fabrication methods.

SABIC is also displaying a selection of parts produced from its new filament materials, which are representative of typical applications across a variety of industries.

From material chemistries, to formulations, to production, to part printing expertise, SABIC integrates design, materials and processing, as the company has done with traditional polymer processes over the past decades, to bring unique offerings to the additive manufacturing space.

SABIC technical experts are available at the company’s booth for the duration of RAPID + TCT 2017 to discuss these new technologies and their benefits for additive manufacturing.

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