Evonik Corporation acquires Structured Polymers Inc., an Austin, Texas-based technology startup for 3D printing materials. The acquisition provides Evonik access to a new patented technology that will allow the company to 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 reportedly remain in Austin. Evonik laid the foundations for an acquisition of the technology startup in the fall of 2017 through a venture capital investment.
Structured Polymers’ 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, according to 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 retardency, and produce them for common powder-based 3D printing processes, such as selective laser sintering, high-speed sintering or multi-jet fusion,” says Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, the head of the additive manufacturing innovation growth field at Evonik. “In addition, we anticipate that Structured Polymers’ technology can be scaled up easily and economically.”
According to Evonik, the 3D printing market is booming with double-digit growth rates. Within this market, Evonik manufactures polyamide (PA) 12 powders, which have reportedly 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.
For more information, visit: www.evonik.com