Ghent University scores high in the Solvay Additive Manufacturing Cup

(31-08-2018) Two teams consisting of students and doctoral students from the CPMT research group scored high in the final of the Solvay Additive Manufacturing Cup 2018.

CPMT is the Center for Polymer and Materials Technology of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture - Department of Materials, Textile and Chemical Technology - under the direction of Prof. dr. Kim Ragaert and Prof. Ludwig Cardon.

32 international teams from universities from 13 different countries competed against each other in two rounds. Main objective: successful 3D printing of a dozen test bars and the Solvay logo in polyetheretherketone (PEEK), an engineering polymer used in aerospace and medical applications, for example, because of its outstanding mechanical properties, chemical resistance and temperature resistance .

Willem Van De Steene, team leader of "Take a PEEK", together with colleagues Martin Spörk, Axel Dhooge and Sisi Wang:
"The main challenge in printing PEEK is the extremely high processing temperature of more than 400°C, which is almost double the standard polymers on the 3D printing market. Our technician with more than 30 years of experience in plastics processing saw machines in the past die during the processing of PEEK. We were very aware of this enormous challenge and out of curiosity we decided to take part in the competition. We quickly realized that 3D printing of PEEK did involve a lot of challenges, but due to various modifications to our in-house developed 3D printer and the process parameters we succeeded in delivering a successful result. "Team PEEK", consisting of Lingyan Duan, Josef Martens and team leader Tom Wieme: "Hopefully this knowledge and experience will be used to make new applications possible, PEEK's additive manufacturing really has the potential to make the difference in different applications." 
Professor Cardon: "The fact that one of our teams did not get a podium position is a pity, but more important is this enormously positive experience that we have gained thanks to this competition. At the start of it we never dared to dream that we could develop such control over our printing process, given the extreme printing parameters. We are already ready to continue innovating! "
Read more articles about: