Victrex, the British high-performance polymer solutions supplier, has reportedly announced to have signed a strategic partnership with the University of Exeter to develop polymers for additive manufacturing (AM). According to trusted sources, the partnership aims to launch next-gen PAEK composites and polymers while enhancing the performance of several AM processes.
Reportedly, the collaboration is being led by the University of Exeter’s Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) and the research and development division of Victrex.
According to a press release by Victrex, the aerospace and medical sectors are expected to particularly benefit the most due to the introduction of new next-gen PAEK polymers. In aerospace, the utilization of PAEK in AM will assist in consolidating different parts within a single design while allowing the creation of new designs. Furthermore, AM along with PAEK would enable manufacturing of medical devices that will be beneficial in implants that are specifically designed for patients.
Professor Oana Ghita, Head of CALM at the University of Exeter, stated that the university is thrilled to have teamed up with Victrex and will continue to carry out R&D work to develop high-performance materials. These materials would allow engineers and developers to implement the best performing polymers into the AM processes and transform AM into a high-performing production tool, Ghita added.
Ian Smith, Marketing Director of Victrex, stated that the company is dedicated to help overcome obstacles that hamper adoption of PAEK components manufactured through AM technology. Smith added that a new eco-system is needed to fast-track the adoption of PAEK for AM and to open the AM supply chain. He further stated that the collaboration with the University of Exeter is a part of the efforts of the company to build a new eco-system.
The prospects of an industry-wide uptake of these materials is awaited as the eco-system grows and better solutions become available, cite sources.