(Reprint from https://www.tctmagazine.com)

Parts manufactured in TPU with the Multi Jet Fusion process.

Lubrizol, a specialty chemicals company, has introduced its first three 3D printing material products after its entry into the additive market.

The Ohio-based company has followed the likes of BASF, SABIC, and Clariant into the industry to offer its expertise, particularly in the development of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) materials, to those pushing AM from a prototyping tool to a volume manufacturing one.

Though making the announcement at TCT Asia, Lubrizol was keen to emphasize the launch of its Estane TPU soft; flexible to hard; and rigid grades were merely the start. The three materials have been developed for extrusion-based processes, but the company is also targeting Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and, as per its involvement with HP’s Open Applications and Materials Program, Multi Jet Fusion (MJF).

“Following the recently-announced partnership with HP, Lubrizol continues to expand our presence within the fast-growing space of 3D Printing,” commented David Pascual, Lubrizol Marketing Manager, in a company press release. “This event offers a great opportunity to further showcase our broad TPU portfolio aiming to serve all thermoplastic 3D printing technologies including FDM, SLS and MJF. By combining our differentiating chemistries together with our elaborate polymer expertise and understanding of end-uses and channels to market, we’re able to develop truly differentiating 3D printing materials, maximizing value for our customers globally.”

Lubrizol is pulling all of its resources into the development of these materials, the new venture for the company was catalyzed by industry players regularly enquiring about the availability of 3D printing materials. Those resources are the result of nearly 60 years’ experience in the development of TPU materials. It has the technology to produce flame-retardant materials and conductive ones too and is committed to developing application-specific products in collaboration with OEMs, involving them in the development process to outline specifications and solve the problems at hand.

Pascual and Gert-Jan Nijhuis, the Director of Strategic Marketing, Engineered Materials, expressed their observation that there has been a lack of materials knowledge in the AM market, while on their stand at TCT Asia. As they roll out their first few products, Lubrizol is joining the host of other chemical companies now operating in the industry to put that right.

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