November 14, 2018
MATERIALS TECH NEWS

Evonik Develops World’s First PEBA-based Flexible 3D Printing Powder

3D Printing
Above: Evonik Headquarters in Essen, Germany/Image Credit: Evonik

Evonik, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, has developed the world’s first flexible plastic material for 3D printing based on Polyether Block Amide (PEBA).

PEBA is known for its high elasticity as well as strength generally in the sports industry, shoe industry, damping systems, etc. This new high-performance powder will be used in various powder-bed fusion technologies.

What is Polyether Block Amide (PEBA)?

Polyether Block Amide (PEBA) is a thermoplastic elastomer material well-known for its high-performance characteristics. PEBA is widely used as a replacement material for common elastomers like thermoplastic polyurethanes, polyester elastomers, and silicones due to its lower density, superior mechanical properties, flexibility, high impact and fatigue resistance.

Polyether Block Amide (PEBA) is commonly used in the manufacture of sports equipment’s, outsoles of high-end shoes for sports like running, football, basketball, trekking, etc. The flexibility also makes it useful in damping systems. Other applications include the manufacture of catheters, electronic goods like wires, cables, etc.

Polyether Block Amide (PEBA) for 3D Printing

The newly developed PEBA powder exhibit significant flexibility, excellent chemical resistance and outstanding durability over a wide range of temperature (-40OC to 90OC). This material is ideal for making functional 3D printer parts for prototypes as well as for series products.

Innovative material for individual solutions

Evonik’s 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.

According to Fabian Stoever, senior product manager for polymers at EOS, “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 produce individual high-tech functional components but also to develop much more sophisticated 3D concepts that make use of the entire material range.”

Successful cooperation between Evonik and EOS

Evonik and EOS, the global technology and quality leader for high-end additive manufacturing solutions have successfully cooperated on the development of the new material. The flexible plastic material is optimised for use in EOS 3D printing systems as a part of the collaboration between the two companies. EOS markets the powder under the name “PrimPart ST”.

“New innovative products that are developed in bespoke projects in close cooperation with our customers form an important cornerstone of our organic growth,” notes Thomas Große-Puppendahl, head of the Engineered Products Product Line at Evonik.

The latest addition of PEBA material, Evonik is quickly expanding its product portfolio o synthetic materials for 3D printing. It is a world leader in the production of Polyamide 12 powders (PA 12).

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