Stratasys Introduces ESD PEKK in Additive Manufacturing Arena

By CIOReview | Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FREMONT, CA: A picture is worth of thousand words; whereas, a prototype is worth of hundred pictures. Harnessing the power of manufacturing, 3D Printing builds a concept, tests it, tries it out, notes and correct mistakes and proceed towards deployment. A global manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems, Stratasys Advanced Materials recently formulated ESD PEKK, an electrostatic discharge resistant thermoplastic designed for space equipment. Components made from this material can be used directly from the 3D printers, wiping out the various expensive post-processing methods like coating, painting, and conductive tape covering for confirmation of ESD conformance.

It is redundant to say that electrical equipments are prone to malfunctioning in outer space. Temperature fluctuations between -150°C and +150°C and alarming electrostatic discharges along with vehement conditions with no air flow can easily destroy satellite equipments with high sensitivity. To defy such menace, the aerospace industry opts for strong, lightweight electronic applications with electrostatic dissipative (ESD) qualities based on FDM technology.

Stratasys has worked with various technology firms of this sector and launched ESD PEKK (Polyetherketoneketone). PEKK, available only on custom order, is a concoction of ABS-ESD7’s electrostatic dissipative properties, ULTEMTM 9085’s superior strength and chemical resistance of the PEKK based resin. Prototyping, tooling and part manufacturing becomes simpler on exploiting ESD PEKK. Avionics boxes or components that build the internal structure of satellites are some of the most notable ESD PEKK products.

3D Printing gains prominence as it is one of the perfect replacement of expensive CNC production. The technology also aids easy identification of design problems. Apart from Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, Stratasys also offers PolyJet 3D Printing for precision prototyping that include rigid, rubberlike and clear materials. CEA predicts that more than 3Mn 3D printers are going to be shipped by 2018.