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Evonik acquires 3d printing startup Structured Polymers

January 22, 2019
Chemical Value Chain

Evonik Industries AG has acquired Structured Polymers Inc., a U.S.-based technology startup for 3-D printing materials headquartered in Austin, Texas. A corresponding agreement and plan of merger was executed and the transaction has been closed recently. The acquisition will provide Evonik access to a new patented technology that will allow the company to expand its portfolio of specialty polymer powders in the additive manufacturing market.

“The acquisition of Structured Polymers’ technology excellently complements our existing activities with high-performance polymers for additive manufacturing,” says Dr. Ralph Marquardt, the head of Strategy and Growth Businesses for Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH. “Thanks to our decades of expertise in polymer chemistry, this means we will expand our portfolio of customized, ready-to-use polymer materials for the highly attractive, rapidly growing 3-D printing market, thus giving us a key role in shaping development of that market.”

Structured Polymers will be entirely integrated into Evonik’s North American organization, while its company headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.

“We are very pleased to harness the power of Evonik to expand our innovative technology platform even further. In the near future, this will allow us to diversify the 3-D printing materials market to a significant degree and to work with our customers on developing new business opportunities,” says Vikram Devarajan, CEO of Structured Polymers Inc.

Evonik already laid the foundations for an acquisition of the technology startup in the fall of 2017 through a venture capital investment. Structured Polymers’ innovative technology starts with a polymer granulate, which is converted to a fine powder through various process steps. This makes it possible to produce polymer powders with controlled particle sizes ranging in diameter between 0.1 and 400 µm, while achieving excellent material properties.

“The new technology allows Evonik to take virtually any semi-crystalline thermoplastic, such as polybutylene terephthalate, polyether ketone, or polyamide 6, or polymer powders with specialized properties like color, conductivity, or flame protection, and produce them for common powder-based 3-D printing processes, such as selective laser sintering, high-speed sintering, or multi-jet fusion,” says Thomas Grosse-Puppendahl, the head of the Additive Manufacturing Innovation Growth Field at Evonik. “In addition, we anticipate that Structured Polymers’ technology can be scaled up easily and economically.”

By Mary Page Bailey

Source: Chemical Engineering

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