Additive manufacturing for end-use parts is seeing increased demand due to fast lead-times and reduced costs to manufacture low-volume components with engineering properties near or at the levels of injection molded parts. Nylon has long been a popular engineering resin for its properties of strength, chemical and heat resistance, particularly in automotive underhood applications.
The development of engineering polymer materials adapted to additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has resulted in many new materials, thus expanding the capability of building end-use parts without the need for molds or injection molding. Solvay Engineering Plastics has developed its PA6 for Selected Laser Sintering, Sinterline, a polyamide 6 powder “that provides a variety of engineering and mechanical properties that are comparable to PA6,” Ralph Risse, Sinterline Marketing Innovation Manager for Sinterline, told PlasticsToday. “So, if you are thinking about rapid prototyping or production parts, you can now get them in nylon.”
Solvay’s Steve Penny, North American product engineering manager and Business Development for Sinterline, added, “The end goal is to see end-use parts in nylon, so we’re just bringing Sinterline to the market. It has higher properties than PA11 and PA12.”..