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Polymers for Additive Manufacturing

Evonik Acquires US Startup for 3D Printing Materials

| Editor: Alexander Stark

The 3D printing market is booming with double-digit growth rates. Within this market, Evonik is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyamide (PA) 12 powders.
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The 3D printing market is booming with double-digit growth rates. Within this market, Evonik is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyamide (PA) 12 powders. (Source: Karsten Bootmann/Evonik)

Evonik announced the acquisition of Structured Polymers, a US-based technology startup for 3D printing materials headquartered in Austin, Texas. A corresponding agreement and plan of merger was executed and the transaction has been closed recently.

Essen/Germany — The acquisition is to provide the speciality chemicals company access to a new patented technology that will allow the company to expand its portfolio of specialty polymer powders in the additive manufacturing market. Dr. Ralph Marquardt, the head of Strategy and Growth Businesses for Evonik Resource Efficiency commented that the company would be expanding their portfolio of customized, ready-to-use polymer materials for the highly attractive, rapidly growing 3D printing market, thus giving them a key role in shaping development of that market.

Structured Polymers will be entirely integrated into Evonik’s North American organization, while its company headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas. The new owner already laid the foundations for an acquisition of the technology startup in the fall of 2017 through a venture capital investment.

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New Technology for 3D Printing Materials

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.

The new technology makes it possible 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 protection, and produce them for common powder-based 3D printing processes, such as selective laser sintering, high-speed sintering, or multi-jet fusion, explained Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, the head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field at Evonik.

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