Having recently broken ground on a 400 million euro production plant for nylon 12 at its manufacturing site in Marl, Germany, Evonik Industries AG is prepared for further growth and to consolidate its position as a leading global supplier of the material.
The new unit, which represents Evonik's biggest single investment in Germany to date, will expand the company's nylon 12 production capacity by more than 50 percent, according to Ralf Düssel, head of the high-performance polymers business line at Evonik.
Having introduced the materials 56 years ago at K, Evonik sees increasing demand for the product in a broad range of applications such as automotive, additive manufacturing, oil and gas and more.
"It is the chemical resistance, temperature properties, impact resistance and its easy processability that makes it a competitive material," Düssel explained in an interview. The clear material's "special properties" give it significant advantages in 3D printing over other polymers.
The material, particularly in laser sintering, has certain features including crystallinity that can give a broad operation window.
"We have a proprietary technology to produce the powder, which gives us a larger processing temperature range," he said.
The nylon investment is not the only development Düssel is excited about. Evonik has launched a new generation of its thermoplastic elastomer PEBA, under the brand Vestamid e²X.
Used mainly in sports and consumer goods applications, the new TPE provides low-temperature impact strength, high elasticity, good resilience and low density. Compared with its predecessors, the clear material does not yellow or cloud with age, making it ideal for high-end applications, he said.
Vestamid e²X sets new standards for TPEs, he said, outperforming polyether block amides with its "excellent transparency and color stability and fascinating gloss effect."