Oxford Performance Materials Inc. (OPM) announced the launch and availability of the first two grades of its OXFAB 3-D printing technology (OXFAB-N and OXFAB-ESD) for aerospace and industrial applications. OXFAB is OPM's proprietary technology platform and formulation of poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK), a high performance polymer that promises to provide exceptional strength, chemical resistance, low and high temperature performance, radiation resistance, superior wear properties and ultra-low outgassing for aerospace and industrial applications.
OPM Aerospace & Industrial currently utilizes OXFAB technology to deliver lightweight, cost-competitive, 3-D printed thermoplastic parts for commercial and military aircraft, spacecraft and other industrial markets, including the transportation, energy and semiconductor sectors. The company's additive manufacturing technology produces complex parts they say equal the performance of a range of traditionally manufactured aluminum and composite components at a lighter weight and reduced cost.
OXFAB-N is composed of unmodified neat PEKK, a material with a very low microwave dielectric constant, and is well suited for radomes and other unique electrical applications. OXFAB-ESD, meanwhile, is a carbon-filled PEKK compound with superior mechanical properties well-positioned for demanding structural applications in the aerospace and industrial markets. OXFAB is a repeatable production process with other advanced material grades currently under development to meet unique market requirements.
"We believe that OXFAB will fundamentally improve the way the world's aircraft and industrial components are manufactured," says Paul Martin, president of OPM Aerospace & Industrial. "OPM's OXFAB products are ideally suited for end market applications where functional complexity and weight reduction can have a substantial and positive impact on performance, while also yielding cost and energy savings."
Martin adds, "While additive manufacturing with commodity polymers has been taking place for some time, this is the first time PEKK is being used for 3-D printing in aerospace and industrial applications. Supported by extensive mechanical test data, PEKK is the highest performance thermoplastic available for 3-D printing fully functional, end-use parts and components. We are fulfilling critical development contracts for 3-D printed parts in a range of applications in commercial and military aircraft, space and industrial products."