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Hexcel Explores 3D Printing Through Strategic Investment in Oxford Performance Materials
June 1st, 2016
Clare Scott, 3D Print.com
June 1st, 2016
Oxford Performance Materials, a Connecticut-based additive manufacturing company, has established a strong presence in the biomedical, aerospace, and industrial sectors, and in recent years they’ve made a tremendous impact on spinal surgery with their 3D printed SpineFab implants, as well as their entire OsteoFab system. A leader in materials science and development, OPM has been working with advanced polymers since their founding in 2000, and started incorporating 3D printing into their manufacturing capabilities ten years ago.
While OPM has gotten a lot of attention for their orthopedic implants lately, it’s the aerospace industry that is at the center of a strategic investment from fellow Connecticut company Hexcel Corporation. The advanced composites manufacturer specializes in lightweight structural materials including carbon fiber, which OPM has used as a component in their OXFAB technology. OXFAB ESD parts have been used in a variety of aerospace and satellite programs, but the two companies hope to work together to further leverage the technology to advance additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry.
“Aerospace adoption of reinforced manufactured parts using Hexcel carbon fiber is becoming a viable and meaningful design solution due to its performance and processing advantages,” said Nick Stanage, Hexcel Chairman, CEO and President. “With the adoption of these lightweight, high-performing materials expected to accelerate, this is an ideal opportunity for our two companies to work together enabling faster product development and adoption for our customers.”
The backbone of OPM’s OXFAB technology is their proprietary OXPEKK (poly-ether-ketone-ketone) material, a high performance polymer capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals. It hasn’t escaped either Oxford Performance Materials or Hexcel that they have a lot in common beyond carbon fiber – both are dedicated to…