Functional 3D print made from SOLVAY’s KetaSpire Carbon PEEK material [Source: ROBOZE]
ROBOZE announced an interesting deal for advanced 3D printing materials with SOLVAY.
ROBOZE is the Italian manufacturer of several high temperature 3D printers for both prototyping and production applications. Meanwhile, SOLVAY is a massive Belgian chemical company with revenues exceeding €10B (US$11B).
ROBOZE and SOLVAY
It seems the two parties have agreed on a deal to provide advanced materials for use in ROBOZE’s ARGO systems. ROBOZE explains:
“ROBOZE and SOLVAY have developed an offer that combines ROBOZE’s ARGO Production solutions with SOLVAY Specialty Polymers’ KetaSpire PEEK and KetaSpire Carbon PEEK filaments to enable metal replacement for prototyping, tooling, and end-use part production.
ROBOZE Production 3D printers will become the standard platform for production of components using SOLVAY’s high-performance polymers that stand out in providing the highest level of performance for additive manufacturing of finished parts with FFF technology.”
There are specific gains for each party in this deal.
ROBOZE Material Access
Functional 3D print made from SOLVAY’s KetaSpire PEEK material [Source: ROBOZE]
For ROBOZE the agreement provides a way for their equipment to easily certify and use very advanced materials. The main goal of high temperature 3D printers is simply to allow designers access to a greater variety of materials. If a high temperature 3D printer manufacturer does not provide such access, then what’s the point of having the machine? This is not the case with ROBOZE ARGO systems going forward, as SOLVAY should provide at least two such materials.
The SOLVAY PEEK and PEEK Carbon Fiber materials will be of particular interest to engineers seeking very strong parts that can withstand high heat environments. ROBOZE says the KetaSpire PEEK material provides higher fatigue resistance up to 240C, 20% more impact resistance and 60% more ductility. With carbon fiber added, these factors increase even more.
With such high heat resistance, ROBOZE believes KetaSpire PEEK 3D prints may even be suitable for use as replacement for metal parts in some applications.
SOLVAY’s 3D Print Strategy
For SOLVAY, this arrangement is also good news. In recent years there has been a bit of a scramble as the chemical companies suddenly discovered the 3D printing market and are rapidly making arrangements with 3D printer manufacturers for sometimes exclusive use of particular materials.
Each chemical company owns a large catalog of resin formulae for countless applications in industry. Some of the items in their catalogs will be suitable for use in 3D printer systems, thus opening the door to many material possibilities, particular for high-temperature equipment that can handle a wider variety of materials.
The chemical company need only deploy their chemical formulae in filament form, spooled and ready for 3D printing, something they know how to do. And that seems to be what SOLVAY has done for ROBOZE in this agreement.