Dec 11, 2015 | By Kira

An upcoming report by SmartTech Publishing predicts that consumption of polymers by the 3D printing and additive manufacturing sector will reach a whooping $4.3 billion by 2023, and a strategic partnership announced today means that China could be at the forefront of developing those high-end polymer materials.

The agreement is between a subsidiary of China XD Plastics Company, Heilongjian Xinda Enterprise Group (Xinda Group), and the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), and will see the establishment of a Xinda Group-ICCAS Joint Laboratory for developing high-end polymer materials for use in additive manufacturing and other industries. The deal seeks to take advantage of China XD Plastic’s leading role in the polymer materials industry, and ICCAS’ extensive research resources and expertise in polymer materials.

China XD Plastics is currently one of China’s leading specialty chemical companies developing, manufacturing, and selling polymer composite materials. Their products are primarily used in the automobile industry, with 24 brands manufactured in China, including AUDI, BMW, Toyota, Buick, Mazda, and VW Passat, Golf, and Jetta, using China XD Plastics components in the exterior and interior trim of their vehicles. The company is also in charge of a wholly-owned research center dedicated to polymer materials advancement, that benefits from cooperation with some of the most well-known scientists from prestigious universities in China.

As for the Institute of Chemistry, Chinse Academy of Sciences, well, the name speaks for itself. It is a multi-disciplinary research institute with three state laboratories, an engineering center for advanced polymeric materials, a center for physicochemical analysis, and more.

The Xinda Group-ICCAS Joint Laboratory will be funded by Xinda Group, and as part of the strategic cooperation, Xinda Group will be granted access to up to 57 patents in the fields of additive manufacturing, supra polymer, and functional polymer materials currently owned by ICCAS.

"I am pleased that we have entered into the cooperation agreement with the Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of China's leading scientific research institutions that has a strong track record of successful collaborations," said Jie Han, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of China XD Plastics. "I am confident that China XD Plastics' strong product development and marketing capabilities in partnership with the Academy's advanced polymer research will generate industry-leading developments and cutting-edge applications in the polymer materials industry in China."

Given China XD Plastics direct access to several high-profile automobile manufacturers, an industry that has increasingly been adopting 3D printing technology, it will be interesting to see whether the development of high-end polymer materials could lead to more 3D printed automobile parts. In general, however, the 3D printing materials industry is on a definitive upswing, and as one the most used category of materials for prototyping and end-use additive manufacturing, further advancement in polymers is always a welcome sign.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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