Advanced Laser Materials (ALM), an EOS company and leader in materials development for industrial 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM), and BASF 3D Printing Solutions, have signed a distribution agreement for four new Forward AM by BASF powder solutions; three in Polyamide 6 (PA6): Ultrasint PA6 FR, Ultrasint PA6 MF, Ultrasint PA6 LM, and one in polypropylene (PP): Ultrasint PP nat 01.
The new PA6 and PP powders will be sold by ALM on behalf of BASF.
Forward AM’s PA6 solutions offer a high Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT) for thermal resistance. They also feature in-particle fillers that ensure part consistency and create less waste through many builds.
● Ultrasint PA6 MF is the material of choice for advanced technical applications where properties of mechanically reinforced thermoplastics are needed. Besides reinforced PA6 being a popular engineering material for highly loaded parts, it offers high rigidity, media tightness, and enhanced thermal distortion performance. Successful applications include Engine Brackets and a high voltage inverter housing used in a new Electric Vehicle.
● Ultrasint PA6 LM is a powder material designed to maximize production accessibility to any PBF user. It has a lower melting temperature compared to the other members of the Ultrasint PA6 family, enabling lower processing temperatures. Its balanced property profile combines mechanical performance with thermal resistance. This advanced material can replace injection-molded PA6 parts without compromise. Potential applications include engine valve train covers and air intake ducts.
● Ultrasint PA6 FR is an advanced engineering polymer powder containing a flame-retardant (FR) additive. Combining mechanical and thermal performance with flammability requirements, it is suitable for applications in the electronics and public transportation sector. The formulation is halogen free.
“PA6 has long been the most widely known polymer material used in automotive 3D printing, but also fairly low quality, until now,” said Donnie Vanelli, President of ALM. “What we’ve been able to do here, in coordination with BASF, is enable manufacturers to use the same material from prototype through production.”
In particular, the combination of the EOS INTEGRA P450 machine and Forward AM’s Ultrasint PA6 MF will open up opportunities to print short-run parts, thereby eliminating tooling costs and reducing overall part cost. Some automotive companies, with support from EOS’ Additive Minds applied engineering counselors and BASF’s versatile and flexible CAE competence simulation software, UltraSim, have already begun exploring applications for this new dynamic material.
● Ultrasint PP nat 01 harnesses the properties of polyolefins for PBF technologies, delivering the well-known characteristics of polypropylene, such as chemical resistance, ductility, and media tightness. Thanks to the successful integration of PP material into PBF technologies, individualized and functional serial production parts can be printed on demand. The high rigidity of Ultrasint PP nat 01 makes the material well-suited to technical applications and is an economical alternative to PA12. Successful applications include automotive fluid bottles, and an aerospace sensor cover.
“Forward AM’s Ultrasint Polypropylene is fully weldable and its translucency and media-tightness make it perfect for tanks and reservoir prototypes,” said Jeremy Vos, Automotive and Powderbed Manager, BASF. “The ability to leverage high-performance AM materials to do short run production will open up new opportunities for customers in the automotive industry.”
ALM and BASF partnered in the past on EOS’ flexible, industrial polymer, TPU 1301, which debuted at Formnext in 2019.