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Arkema invests in US-based start-up company to develop new composite 3D printing

July 28/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema is investing in Continuous Composites, a US-based start-up company that is developing a new method of 3D printing composite materials that could eliminate much of the prohibitive expense that restricts their widespread adoption, said the company. 

It did not disclose the size of the investment. Arkema has already signed a joint development agreement with Continuous Composites in September 2019, and the two met several milestones, the French company said.

The two companies have been adapting Arkema's N3xtDimension photocurable resins to Continuous Composites's CF3D process, short for continuous fibre 3D printing. The CF3D process can eliminate much of the time and expense in making composite materials, according to a presentation by Tyler Alvarado, CEO.

Under the process, dry fibre comes off of spools and enters a printer head, where it is impregnated on site with ultraviolet-curable resins. The process eliminates the need for pre-impregnation (pre-preg), removing a large chunk of the expense in making composite materials.

The process can print shapes in free space that can support themselves, Alvarado said in his presentation. This eliminates the need for moulds, which are massive for composite parts made for the aerospace industry. Because the resin is cured by UV light and not by heat, it removes the need for autoclaves, another source of the large costs involved with composites.

Alvarado said the company's CF3D process can print up to 10 feet/second (3 metres/second). Continuous Composites said its technology uses thermoset resins, but it did not provide details beyond that, and it did not say if the process could accommodate thermoplastics.

As MRC informed earlier, in October 2019, Arkema successfully brought on stream a new 90,000-ton acrylic acid reactor at its Clear Lake, Texas site to support the growth of its North American customers in the superabsorbents, paints, adhesives and water treatment markets.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers grew in April 2020 by 11.2% year on year due to quarantine restrictions. However, this figure increased by 3.4% year on year in the first four months of 2020.  According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, April production of unreinforced and non-combined films decreased to 107,000 tonnes from 110,400 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in the first four months of 2020 by 12.5% year on year to 402,800 tonnes.

Arkema is a global manufacturer in specialty chemicals and advanced materials, with 3 business segments - High Performance Materials, Industrial Specialties, and Coating Solutions - and globally recognized brands. The Group reports annual sales of EUR8.8 billion. Buoyed by the collective energy of its 20,000 employees, Arkema operates in close to 55 countries.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, PVC, PP, PE, petrochemistry, Arkema, Kem One (Arkema).
Category:General News
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