PEEK polymer specialist Victrex will very soon launch new polymer solutions for FFF and SLS technologies. Called PAEK, the polymer solutions will be provided as filaments and fine powder.

The material for laser sintering attains lower refresh rates, therefore results in improved recycling for unsintered powder. As for the filament, the company said, it presents a better Z-strength than existing polyaryletherketone (PAEK)* materials.

Jakob Sigurdsson, Victrex CEO explained that these PAEK materials for additive manufacturing might serve several applications such as aerospace and medical.

The exciting progress is based on continued intense R&D at Victrex and excellent collaboration within the Victrex led consortium of companies and institutions** pursuing innovation in additive manufacturing. Through this consortium we’re already seeing demonstrator parts that show how AM processes, coupled with high-performance materials, transform thinking to create truly innovative parts based on increased design possibilities, said the CEO.

The difference with materials available on the market

According to the company, the PAEK materials available on the market today were intended for conventional manufacturing methods, such as machining and injection molding. That’s why, their features are not optimal for 3D printing processes.

A first generation of PAEK material for laser sintering can only be recycled in a very low extent and required nearly full refresh of the printing bed with new powder, and PEEK filaments available for FF have poor interlayer bonding, leading to a loss in Z-strength.”

The detailed technical results would be explained at the bi-annual Additive Manufacturing conference of the University of Exeter Center for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM), in September 2018.

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