Evonik announced the acquisition of US-based 3D printing materials startup, Structured Polymers Inc. This acquisition gives Evonik access to Structured Polymer’s patented technology for 3D printing materials. With this, Evonik will expand its portfolio of specialty polymer powders in the additive manufacturing market.
Structured Polymers will be entirely integrated into Evonik’s North American organization, while its company headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.
Structured Polymers’ New technology for 3D printing materials
Structured Polymers’ innovative technology starts with a polymer granulate, which is converted to a fine powder through various process steps. This makes it possible to produce polymer powders with controlled particle sizes ranging in diameter between 0.1 and 400 µm while achieving excellent material properties.
As per Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, the head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field at Evonik, “The new technology allows us to take virtually any semi-crystalline thermoplastic, such as polybutylene terephthalate, polyether ketone, or polyamide 6, or polymer powders with specialized properties like color, conductivity, or flame protection, and produce them for common powder-based 3D printing processes, such as selective laser sintering, high-speed sintering, or multi-jet fusion.”
He added, “In addition, we anticipate that Structured Polymers’ technology for 3D printing materials can be scaled up easily and economically.”
The 3D printing market is booming with double-digit growth rates. Within this market, Evonik is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyamide (PA) 12 powders, which have been used in additive production technologies for over 20 years. In addition to its PEEK filament and PA 12 powders, the company’s product portfolio also includes flexible PEBA powders and a wide array of additives such as dispersing agents, flow enhancers, and reactive modifiers.
Speaking on the acquisition, Dr. Ralph Marquardt, the head of Strategy and Growth Businesses for Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH said, “The acquisition of Structured Polymers’ technology excellently complements our existing activities with high-performance polymers for additive manufacturing. Thanks to our decades of expertise in polymer chemistry, this means we will expand our portfolio of customized, ready-to-use polymer materials for the highly attractive, rapidly growing 3D printing market, thus giving us a key role in shaping the development of that market.”
According to Vikram Devarajan, CEO of Structured Polymers Inc., “We are very pleased to harness the power of Evonik to expand our innovative technology platform even further. In the near future, this will allow us to diversify the 3D printing materials market to a significant degree and to work with our customers on developing new business opportunities.”
Evonik already laid the foundations for acquisition of the technology startup in the fall of 2017 through a venture capital investment.
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