Materials distributor M. Holland Co. soon will distribute Xstrand-brand high-performance composite filaments for Owens Corning.
The two firms announced the agreement May 7. Xstrand filaments are used in 3D printing, which M. Holland officials described as "a growing market segment."
Northbrook, Ill.-based M. Holland will serve as master distributor for Xstrand, managing a network of sub-distributors and directly distributing the filaments to M. Holland clients in the U.S. and Mexico beginning in late May.
Owens Corning, based in Toledo, Ohio, is a global leader in insulation, roofing and glass fiber for reinforced composites. The Xstrand product line uses proprietary fiber reinforcement technology developed at the firm's global technical network, including dedicated 3D printing labs in the U.S. and France.
Xstrand filaments enable the production of 3D printed parts that are at least 50 percent — and as much as 250 percent — stronger and stiffer, making them structurally superior to traditional 3D printed parts, officials said. The filaments also have good chemical and UV resistance. They can be used for industrial production and functional prototyping.
"We expect 3D printing to become an integral part of the global manufacturing infrastructure," M. Holland CEO Ed Holland said in the release. "We want to provide our suppliers with reliable channels to the plastics market while providing our clients with customized solutions to their material needs, which, to a growing degree, include 3D printing."
To support its 3D printing initiatives, M. Holland also is investing in new 3D printing capabilities at its R&D center in Easton, Pa. The firm is adding dedicated commercial and technical support resources for those products.
The Owens Corning deal continues a busy 2018 for M. Holland. Earlier this year, the firm created a health care unit and also began to distribute butene linear low density polyethylene resins in Mexico for Nova Chemicals Corp.
M. Holland ranks as one of North America's largest resin distributors, selling more than 1.4 billion pounds of resin per year from more than 20 material suppliers. The firm has more than 4,000 customers and annual sales of more than $1 billion.