At K2019, global chemical company Huntsman will be focussing on additive manufacturing and the emerging needs of this relatively young branch of industry, said Stephane Peysson, Global Business Development Manager at Huntsman Polyurethanes at a K preview event on Wednesday 3 July. The company has developed a new range of additive manufacturing materials which will be officially launched at the show and marketed under the brand name Iroprint.
The new additive manufacturing platform is ‘technology agnostic’, said Peysson, and contains three different kinds of urethane-based materials (resins, powders and filaments), which can be 3D printed using a variety of additive manufacturing methods including stereolithography (SLA), high speed sintering (HSS) and fused filament fabrication (FFF).
As the company is initially targeting the global footwear and sports industry, where very slowly, a trend for 3D printing both customized and mass manufactured shoes is unfolding, all three Iroprint lines - Iroprint R resins, Iroprint P powders and Iroprint F filaments - have been optimized for the production of footwear components. Longer-term, Huntsman plans to roll its Iroprint additive manufacturing platform out across a much wider range of applications and industries.
In developing the platform, the idea, said Peysson, was to adopt a holistic approach and to build an ecosystem to sort out current issues confronting additive manufacturing, including the processability and affordability of the materials. “The footwear market is extremely cost sensitive,” he said.
The new materials are easy to use and print, offering advanced abrasion resistance, elongation and tear strength. For radiation-cured forms of printing such as SLA or DLP, Iroprint R resins also offer a long pot life and quick cure capabilities.
Also, ahead of the launch of the range, the company has been building relationships with key technology partners, who in turn work with some of the ‘biggest footwear brands in the world’, said Peysson when he unveiled the new platform on Wednesday.
He added: “Further down the line we see huge opportunities for our Iroprint additive manufacturing materials in other sectors of the 3D printing market, from components for the automotive industry to objects for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.”
At K Show 2019, Huntsman will be located in Hall 8a, Stand 22.