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Braskem launches 3D printing portfolio in South America
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:17.Nov.2020

Braskem has launched a portfolio of exclusive products for the additive manufacturing segment, which is experiencing robust growth in Brasil. The market, whose main characteristics are decentralization of production and customization of solutions, also has helped to combat the novel coronavirus with the production of face shields and components for mechanical respirators, for example.


Braskem's solutions made from polypropylene (PP) have proved attractive and ideal for additive manufacturing, given the recyclability, impact strength and dimensional stability of the raw material, which features the capacity to make durable hinges and lower density than other types of plastics.


PP for 3D printing can be found in the form of pellets and filaments, both of which are produced in Brazil, and powder, which is imported from the United States. The products also can be used in both industrial and desktop 3D printers.


The polypropylene filaments, pellets and powder can be used in industrial and desktop 3D printers.

Braskem's PP filaments, which are available in 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters, were developed with the user in mind and deliver a better balance of mechanical properties, dimensional stability and printing performance.


Developed for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process that uses a laser to synthesize polymer powder, polypropylene powder is the result of a partnership with Advanced Laser Materials (ALM), a subsidiary of EOS North America. The material is recognized for its mechanical performance, dimensional stability of printed parts and high reuse rates of the remaining printing powder at the end of each cycle.


Meanwhile, PP pellets were developed in collaboration with Titan Robotics with a focus on ATLASTM, an innovative platform for pellet extrusion on an industrial scale.


“The polypropylene developed for this application can be recycled just like the other thermoplastic resins produced by Braskem and used in other conversion processes, which reinforces our commitment to sustainability and the circular economy,” said Fabio Lamon, Braskem's manager of Innovation & Technology for Additive Manufacturing.


3D printing's relevance to Braskem as a producer of raw materials in terms of market growth is growing. It is a disruptive technology with strong appeal due to its transformational innovation, which drives the development of solutions that are relevant in the context of industry 4.0 and sustainability aspects, since it is a completely decentralized production process that minimizes losses and material waste, while also having benefits from the logistical standpoint.


“We are excited about the performance of our polypropylene compared with the other materials available in the market, and believe that its availability in pellet, filament and powder form helps further increase the enormous potential we see in the global 3D printing market,” added Jason Vagnozzi, Braskem's commercial director of Additive Manufacturing.


In July 2020, Braskem donated 120 coils of plastic filament for the production of face shields and components of artificial respirators, for combating the covid-19 pandemic. The company also made available its team of additive manufacturing experts to support the work of 12 3D printing research centers in the states of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo.


The PP filament made by Braskem for use in 3D printers was converted into bands for approximately 5,000 face shields, which were distributed to healthcare professionals working in public hospitals near the research centers.



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