Specialty materials maker and 3D printer Oxford Performance Materials Inc. has acquired the patent portfolio of Ketonex Ltd. of Oxford, England.
In a news release, officials with Oxford Performance in South Windsor, Conn., said the portfolio includes the world's highest performance polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymer synthesis technology.
In adding these synthesis patents to its existing portfolio, they added, "[OPM] has furthered its capabilities as a recognized leader in PAEK materials technology, with broad applications in the biomedical, industrial, aerospace, energy, and electronics industries."
OPM began working with Ketonex more than a decade ago. During that time, the firms collaborated on initial scale-up and development of the Ketonex polymer synthesis technologies. In early 2022, this work reached critical technical and commercial milestones, which led to the acquisition.
The Ketonex technology is built on a low-temperature PAEK synthesis method that makes high quality PAEK products. Originally commercialized by BASF, adoption was limited due to costly production methods, officials said.
Ketonex technology provides advantages over other PAEK synthesis methods that produce materials such as PEEK (polyetherether ketone) and conventionally produced PEKK (polyetherketoneketone), as originally invented by DuPont. The patented Ketonex low-temperature synthesis method produces polymers with excellent stability, purity, controlled morphology and product reproducibility, officials said.
They added that the Ketonex portfolio enables modification of polymer backbones to economically create new polymer systems for specific market and unmet commercial application demands.
"Today's markets are demanding improved processability and higher performance for ever-broadening material applications, and OPM will be working with industry partners that have specific applications for this unique PAEK technology," Oxford CEO Scott DeFelice said.
Oxford was founded in 2000 and started 3D printing in 2006. End markets served by the firm include aerospace and defense.