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Managing Editor  | May 2017

BASF and Essentium teaming up to create more robust 3-D printed plastic parts

BASF and Essentium have announced a new partnership to boost fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3-D printing technology in order to mass-produce plastic parts that are stronger and more durable than the current products being created with additive manufacturing, according to a press release from the companies.



BASF and Essentium are partnering on process to make 3-D printed parts sronger.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The partnership brings together BASF chemical and materials expertise with Essentium FlashFuse electric welding technology, which enhances layer-to-layer adhesion of 3-D printed parts. The goal is to combine knowledge to produce polymer solutions for 3-D printing.


The release stated, “Essentium’s FlashFuse technology, engineered to the highest levels of safety and compliance, performs in-situ welding which can be applied to multiple open system FFF printer platforms. This electric welding technology helps boost isotropy, an indicator for the homogeneity of a structure, and ramps up vertical strength and mechanical toughness of the printed parts.”


According to the release, the companies will focus on FFF printing because it can be used with a wide range of thermoplastics, create large and complex parts rapidly, and combine “multi-modality materials” in the same project. FFF is also best suited, according to the companies, for printing parts that are both “structural and composed of filaments loaded with functional fillers.”


“BASF is committed to advancing 3D printing to the next level across all major additive manufacturing technologies,” said Kara Noack, Head of BASF’s 3D-Printing business in North America. “I am confident that our collaboration with Essentium will enable the creation of 3D printed functional parts and make the technology accessible to a broader range of industrial customers.”


“Essentium Materials’ distinctive FlashFuse technology addresses one of the prevalent challenges for achieving isotropic 3D printed parts,” said Dr. Blake Teipel, Essentium’s President and CTO. “Our partnership with BASF will provide robust and strong 3D printing solutions for extremely demanding applications.”


In addition to its partnership announcement, BASF has also released a new heat-resistant plastic, Ultramid Endure polyamide, on the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia with a new 2.0L GME engine. The plastic, according to a report from AutomotiveWorld.com, has high heat aging resistance up to 220°C and withstand peak temperatures of 240°C.


“We predict that about 20 percent of all turbocharger applications will require a high heat resistant plastic as engine temperatures increase due to downsizing,” said Mike Chiandussi, Powertrain Market Segment Specialist at BASF. “BASF is able to deliver not only the innovative materials necessary for these applications, but also the design and welding expertise and know-how to ensure that suppliers and automakers can incorporate them successfully into their turbocharger system parts.”


BASF worked with ABC Group Inc. to develop the hot-side turbo duct for the Alfa Romeo, according to the article, and also worked with Magneti Marelli to develop an air intake manifold with integrated charge air cooler.


To learn more about the partnership between BASF and Essentium for FFF 3-D printing, watch the video below:

Kamweld Intro

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