Henkel and Fortify recently initiated a development agreement that allows both companies to mutually combine their areas of expertise and further drive the potential of additive manufacturing. Henkel has developed custom technology that enables durable, high temperature and high modulus resins. Through collaboration, Henkel has designed several formulations that allow Fortify to achieve new outcomes for industrial customers.
Fortify’s Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) 3D printing technology mixes reinforcing fibers with Henkel’s resins and then uses magnetics to align the fibers for optimum strength in printed parts.
“The Fortify platform enables our customers to leverage materials that weren’t conceivable, yet alone practical on other platforms,” says Joshua Martin, CEO and Co-Founder at Fortify. “With Henkel’s assistance, we are pushing this technology forward and solving the customer problems we expected as well as discovering exciting new opportunities.”
With industrial applications, the use of fiber-reinforced polymers continues to accelerate. Injection molded parts that are reinforced with fibers typically show 20 to 100% increases in strength, stiffness and heat deflection temperature (HDT.) Fortify brings these same performance advantages to the 3D printing space in a variety of use cases.
Injection mold tools as one major focus area
3D printed injection mold tools are one application. By replacing traditional metal tooling with inserts that are 3D printed, molders can cut weeks or months out of their schedules while saving a significant amount of costs. While this application has been pursued by others, it’s the reinforced material that delivers success in demanding applications.
Leveraging Henkel’s material, Fortify will begin field beta testing its 3D printers in the spring of 2020. Beyond injection molding, Henkel and Fortify are looking at several end-use part applications where their combined solutions offer a significant advantage.