Rhodia Group

Rhodia Group (2)

Thursday, 29 November 2012 11:21

Solvay launches Sinterline™ PA6 Powder

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Solvay’s Engineering Plastics business unit announced the launch of Sinterline™ the first range of PA6 powders developed specifically for Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).

“Laser sintered parts manufactured using Sinterline™ display a thermal resistance and stiffness similar to those injection-molded in polyamide 6, ”explains Ralph Rissé, Business Development Manager for Solvay’s Engineering Plastics business unit. “This innovation extends the limits of rapid manufacturing enabling cost-effective production of functional prototypes and small series components.”

Solution F/E2R, a leading company specializing in engineering and rapid prototyping techniques for recreational vehicles and aerospace applications, has manufactured parts such as air-intake ducts and brake fluid tanks which highlight the inherent qualities of Sinterline™. Other parts are being developed to equip the cockpit of the Solar Impulse, the pioneering solar powered plane for which Solvay is the first main partner.

“Thanks to a resistant and excellent surface finish, Sinterline™ will broaden the range of laser sintered parts,”comments Hermann Hanning, Technical Manager, LSS Laser Sinter Service GmbH, one of Europe’s rapid prototyping specialists. “We are convinced that it will quickly establish itself as the ideal material for numerable automotive and electronics applications.”

SOLVAY is an international chemical Group committed to sustainable development with a clear focus on innovation and operational excellence. Its recent acquisition of specialty chemicals company Rhodia created a much larger player, which is realizing over 90% of its sales in markets where it is among the top 3 global leaders. Solvay offers a broad range of products that contribute to improving the quality of life and the performance of its customers in markets such as consumer goods, construction, automotive, energy, water and environment, and electronics. The Group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,000 people in 55 countries and generated EUR 12.7 billion in net sales in 2011 (pro forma). Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB – Reuters: SOLBt.BR).

For information, visit: www.solvay.com

Rhodia is announcing the upcoming launch of polyamide (PA) powders for rapid prototyping and small series manufacturing by selective laser sintering (SLS). This is the first time that PA 6 powders are offered for direct part fabrication by SLS. The range will be extended to include PA 66 powders in the coming months.

Using SLS, designers and processors can produce complete families of fully functional prototype parts, each with different dimensions, one after the other, before they cut any metal for tooling. Once the design is validated, they can even use SLS for limited series commercial production.

Cutting-edge industries such as aerospace, automobile racing, robotics or medical prosthesis manufacturers have already adopted direct manufacturing technologies that aim to produce in a fraction of time customized design parts with properties similar to those made by traditional technologies.

Until now, growth of so-called “time compression” technologies beyond these sectors has been limited, partly because the choice of materials available for SLS is much more limited than it is for conventional molding. With the introduction of PA 6 powders, the same polyamides can be used for prototyping and for injection molding. “With processing properties perfectly adapted to SLS laser sintering – as well as other fabrication techniques based on addition of layers of powder – this new product range makes these innovative technologies much more accessible than before, opening the way to new applications and new markets,” says Jean-Pierre Marchand, Director of Marketing and Innovation for Rhodia’s Engineering Plastics activities.

The part of the rapid prototyping/manufacturing sector using these additive technologies (as opposed to machining, or subtractive technologies) has a current turnover of around €800 million, with a potential estimated to reach €3 billion in 2015. “In this context, the potential for SLS powders is forecast to rise to between €100 million and €200 million by 2020,” explains Pierre-Emmanuel Lucas, Director of the PA Powder Project at Rhodia. “With this new range of materials, Rhodia expects to play an important part in this market.”

Polyamide engineering materials are now into their eighth decade of commercial use. As a technological leader, Rhodia is proving once again with this new kind of resins that innovation field in polyamides has no limit.

Rhodia is an international chemical company resolutely committed to sustainable development. As a leader in its businesses, the Group aims to improve its customers’ performance through the pursuit of operational excellence and its ability to innovate. Rhodia is the partner of major players in the automotive, electronics, flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care markets, consumer goods and industrial markets. The Group employs around 13,600 people worldwide and generated sales of €4.03 billion in 2009. Rhodia is listed on Euronext Paris.
Rhodia is a global specialist in performance solutions based on polyamide 6 and 66 for injection molding, extrusion and blow molding. Under the flagship brand Technyl®, Rhodia’s Engineering Plastics activity serves various markets as automotive and transportation, electrical and electronics, sports and leisure.

Rhodia Polyamide (PA) powders are used for rapid prototyping and small series manufacturing by selective laser sintering ( SLS).

Press Contacts

Rhodia Engineering Plastics
Jérôme Pisani
+33 4 72 89 27 53
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Josina van der Velden
+31 164 317 014
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