The German company Evonik acquires the American technology start-up for 3D printing materials Structured Polymers Inc., based in Austin, Texas. A corresponding purchase agreement and takeover plan have been signed and the transaction has recently been completed.
The acquisition gives Evonik access to a new patented technology that will enable it to expand its product portfolio of specialty plastic powders for additive manufacturing. Structured Polymers will be fully integrated into Evonik’s North American organization. The company headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.
As early as autumn 2017, Evonik laid the foundation stone for the later acquisition through a venture capital investment in the technology start-up.
New technology for 3D printing materials
The innovative technology of Structured Polymers is based on a polymer granulate, which is processed through various process steps to fine powder material. It is possible to produce plastic powders in controlled particle sizes with a diameter range of 0.1-400 μm with simultaneously very good material properties.
“With the new technology, almost all semicrystalline thermoplastics such as polybutylene terephthalate, polyetheretherketone or polyamide 6 or plastic powders with special functions. Such as coloration, conductivity or flame retardancy for common powder-based 3D printing processes such as selective laser sintering, high-speed sintering or multi-jet fusion produced “. Says Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, Head of the innovation growth field Additive Manufacturing at Evonik. “We also expect the Structured Polymers technology to scale easily and cost-effectively.”
The market for 3D printing is booming with double-digit growth rates. Evonik is a world leader in the production of polyamide 12 powders (PA 12), which have been used in additive manufacturing technologies for more than 20 years. In addition to the PEEK filament and the PA 12 powders, flexible PEBA powders, as well as a whole range of additives such as dispersants, flow improvers or reactive modifiers, are also part of the product portfolio.