Nov 14, 2017 | By Benedict

Chemicals company SABIC has launched its new LEXAN EXL AMHI240F 3D printing filament, an FDM material offering high performance and low-temperature ductility. SABIC is also releasing other FDM materials and eight new reinforced compounds for large-format additive manufacturing.

When you think of 3D printing in the aerospace sector, you probably think of metal additive manufacturing systems producing rugged titanium parts for jet engines. But there’s room in the competitive industry for regular FDM 3D printing too, whether for prototyping, small cabin parts, or other applications.


SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) is looking to exploit that area, with the chemical company’s new LEXAN EXL AMHI240F 3D printing filament aimed at aerospace, consumer electronics, and automotive companies.

The company’s new FDM filament is based on its existing LEXAN EXL polycarbonate (PC) copolymer and, according to the company, offers high levels of strength and toughness.

The 3D printing material, currently available only in black with a 1.79 mm ± 0.05 mm diameter, has been optimized for use on Stratasys Fortus 3D printers, but SABIC says that other machines with the right temperature capabilities could also process it. It comes in a 1510 cc spool size.

“Expansion of additive manufacturing depends on the availability of high-performance materials that can help optimize processing and promote application innovation,” said Stephanie Gathman, director of Emerging Applications at SABIC.

LEXAN EXL AMHI240F is available in Europe and the Americas.

Six new FDM materials

In addition to the new LEXAN EXL AMHI240F filament, SABIC is also releasing six new FDM materials for its European customers. These are based on the company’s ULTEM polyetherimide (PEI) resin, CYCOLAC acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin, and LEXAN PC resin, and are also designed for Stratasys Fortus 3D printers.

Eight new large-format compounds

Furthermore, SABIC has unveiled eight high-performance THERMOCOMP AM compounds for large-format 3D printing—also for the European market. These materials, reinforced with carbon or glass fibers, are based on four amorphous resins: ABS, polyphenylene ether (PPE), PC, and PEI.

According to SABIC, these large-format compounds exhibit good creep (cold flow) behavior, reduced deformation under constant pressure, and lower shrinkage compared to crystalline resins. Targeted customers include those in the tooling, aerospace, automotive, and defense industries.

To demonstrate the power of these new large-format compounds, SABIC has 3D printed a section of a boat hull from Livrea Yacht, printed using a BAAM 3D printer. The hull section consists of two distinct layers: an outer layer made from a carbon fiber-reinforced PPE compound, and an inner lattice support structure 3D printed in a carbon fiber-reinforced ULTEM PEI compound.

Future plans

SABIC also has further products up its sleeve that it hopes to release in the future. These include polycarbonate materials for selective laser sintering (SLS) with part densities above 96 per cent, healthcare-ready biocompatible polycarbonate and ULTEM PEI filaments, and EXTEM thermoplastic polyimide (TPI) FDM filaments.

Gathman added that “SABIC is creating a range of new materials for different additive manufacturing processes and supporting customers with our extensive expertise and resources for testing, design, and application development.”



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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