Braskem and ALM to Develop Polyolefins for SLS Powder-Bed 3D Printing

Braskem and Advanced Laser Materials (ALM) has announced their joint partnership for the development of advanced polyolefins for AM.

Partnership for Polyolefin-Based Powders

With initial collaboration between Braskem and ALM beginning in 2018, the partnership focuses on the development of innovative polyolefin-based powders for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) powder-bed 3D printing. Braskem and ALM expect to introduce their first product collaboration in the first half of 2020 which is a new polypropylene (PP) powder for SLS.

Development research activities have proven the new PP powder will bring enhanced benefits to the SLS AM process including light weighting, moisture resistance, durable living hinge capabilities, improved recyclability, enhanced processing stability as well as the elongation at break and flexibility that will match injection molding PP grades.

Providing Circular Solutions

"More and more we see the future success of AM being defined not by single products like printers or materials, but in understanding how to marry printers, processes, materials, and design with customer applications while providing an end-to-end solution," said Donnie Vanelli, President of ALM.

"This approach requires developing broad partnerships, especially between printer OEMs and chemical companies. That is precisely what we have achieved in developing our relationship with Braskem, with their deep basic knowledge of polyolefins and their large portfolio of materials. We believe the result will not just be one material product, but a whole family of solutions being launched."

Fabio Lamon, Braskem Additive Manufacturing technology leader commented, "We are extremely proud to announce our partnership with ALM for the development of innovative polyolefins-based powders to support the growing opportunity we see for the additive manufacturing markets worldwide. Building on our position as a global leader in polyolefins production, and our growing portfolio of bio-based polymers, we were excited to align efforts with ALM to bring our customers new solutions to help fuel their advanced manufacturing strategies as well as support innovative new product development roadmaps."

Making Products for Laser Powder Bed Fusion

The upcoming introduction of this first-generation polypropylene powder builds upon joint research and development over the past year. It also represents the first product deployment between Braskem and ALM as they aim to expand the range of offerings available for laser powder bed fusion over time to include additional polyolefins as well as bio-based material offerings. Polypropylene features high toughness and excellent chemical resistance at good cost.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing process that utilizes laser and thermal energy to sinter polymer powder to produce three-dimensional, solid geometries. SLS technologies are utilized in industrial applications for a broad array of manufacturing segments such as automotive, aerospace, packaging and more.


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