9T Labs and Solvay bring additive manufacturing of carbon composites to mass production

Combining Solvay’s high-performance composite materials with 9T Labs’ hybrid additive fusion solution process lowers production costs for advanced composite parts. The newly formed partnership between the two companies will facilitate the mass production of additively manufactured carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components.

9T Labs’s patented Red Series Additive Fusion Solution technology is a hybrid of 3D printing and compression moulding used to produce high-performance structural composite parts for a wide range of industries. The technology enables high-performance structural parts — in challenging small-to-medium size and thick sections — to be produced in carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites in production volumes ranging from 100 to 10,000 parts/year.

By collaborating with Solvay, a high-performance resin and carbon fibre-reinforced composites supplier, the Zurich based company aims to bring additive manufacturing of carbon composite parts into mass production. The two companies plan to develop carbon fibre-reinforced polyetheretherketone (CF/PEEK), CF-reinforced bio-based high-performance polyamides and CF-reinforced polyphenylene sulfide (CF/PPS) composite materials from Solvay for use in 9T Labs’ hybrid 3D printing/moulding platform to more.

The platform will allow for the repeatably and affordable production of low-to-medium volume and size parts for the aerospace, medical, luxury/leisure, automation, and oil and gas industries. The collaboration also significantly expands the types of neat and carbon-fibre-reinforced materials portfolio that 9T Labs currently offers customers.

“With 9T Labs’ innovative process and equipment and Solvay’s high-performance thermoplastic materials, we are well-positioned to address problems that have long plagued manufacturers in many industries trying to use advanced composites — namely high incremental costs, high scrap, and problems achieving repeatability and traceability,” explains Marco Apostolo, Director of Technology at Solvay. “We believe this collaboration will help solve many challenges and will open entirely new markets and applications to CFRP materials.”

(Press release)