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Composite 3D Printing Gets a Boost from Hexcel
June 2nd, 2016
Michael Molitch-Hou , Engineering.com
June 2nd, 2016
Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) has just received an investment from Hexcel Corporation that will expand upon an existing relationship between the two Connecticut-based companies. While OPM has already established itself as a provider of 3D-printed aerospace and medical components, Hexcel is a supplier of composite materials for aerospace, space and defense applications. The investment will in part be used to drive OPM’s production of 3D-printed parts made from Hexcel’s carbon fiber material.
As an expert producer of poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK) material, OPM utilizes its brand of selective laser sintering for the 3D printing of PEKK parts. The company is well-known for having had three 3D-printed medical implants cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for medical use. Having met a number of industry compliance standards, the company has also implemented its 3D printing services for the production of aerospace and industrial components.
Given the fact that Hexcel is also a materials manufacturer based in Connecticut, the partners were ideally matched. OPM has already used Hexcel’s carbon fiber in its OXFAB ESD compound, a carbon-filled PEKK material meant for use in demanding industrial applications. The dual strengths of carbon fiber and PEKK have enabled OPM to 3D print structural components for satellite and aerospace applications. The investment will give OPM further fuel with which to develop its composite materials for 3D printing.
Scott DeFelice, chairman and CEO of OPM, said of the investment, “Hexcel represents the gold standard in carbon fiber and composite material technologies, and our core target markets are extremely complementary. Hexcel’s investment in OPM will help enable us to further…