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Xenia’s entry into additive


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Based almost three many years in the past, Italian firm Xenia is a crucial participant on this planet of thermoplastic polymers. The corporate’s basis is constructed on the event and manufacturing of composite supplies for injection molding, and it has served many consumers over time from an array of various industries, together with aerospace, agriculture, automotive, development, power, medical, shopper items, sports activities, oil & gasoline and transportation. Most lately, the corporate has expanded its materials growth to incorporate polymers optimized for additive manufacturing, and particularly pellet-based extrusion printers ranging in measurement from desktop FDM/FFF to large-format additive manufacturing (LFAM).

In a latest interview between VoxelMatters and Xenia Founder Fabio Azzolin, he informed us the transfer into AM was “prompted by developments in AM applied sciences that enabled using supplies in pellet type to supply giant components extra effectively.” From there, the corporate refined lots of its current fiber-reinforced plastic formulations particularly for large-format extrusion machines and finally launched its 3DP MATERIALS enterprise unit. Underneath this unit, the supplies firm affords a broad portfolio of AM-compatible supplies, comprising the next product households: XECARB 3DP, XEBRID 3DP, XEGLASS 3DP, XELIGHT 3DP and XEGREEN 3DP.

The corporate exhibited its first high-performance composites for 3D printing at Formnext 2023, and has since launched extra AM-optimized grades, together with the latest launch of XEGREEN 23-C20-3DP at JEC World 2024. As we’ll see in additional element, the corporate’s 3D printing granule supplies are versatile and may accommodate a spread of functions, whether or not finish customers are searching for extra light-weight and economical alternate options to steel, a troublesome composite for tooling, or a versatile light-weight product for sporting functions.

An overview of Xenia’s growing portfolio of high-performance composite materials optimized for extrusion-based additive manufacturing.

XECARB 3DP

Xenia’s XECARB 3DP household of supplies is predicated on its commonplace XECARB product vary and consists of extremely chosen base polymers all strengthened with carbon fiber. The XECARB 3DP portfolio consists of supplies that cowl the polymer pyramid, from the engineering polymers (e.g. HDPE, POM, ABS, PET-G) to high-performing ultra-polymers (e.g. PEI, PESU, PEEK, PPS), with a carbon fiber reinforcement that goes as much as 50%. This group of supplies is the broadest in Xenia’s portfolio and it’s recognized for delivering superior mechanical options, low density and low thermal growth, and is good for steel substitute and tooling functions.

In line with Xenia, the best demand from LFAM 3D printing finish customers immediately is for composite tooling functions, and the XECARB  3DP vary of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastics is ideally suited to this software space. This isn’t solely because of the toughness of the composites, but additionally the truth that the fiber reinforcement minimizes the chance of warping all through the printing course of leading to high-fidelity components with a high-quality floor end, particularly in curing processes.

Highlights:

  • Excessive mechanical properties
  • Optimum modulus/density ratio
  • Decrease electrical resistivity (floor and volumetric)

XEGLASS 3DP

The XEGLASS  3DP household features a vary of long-chain polyamides, like PA11, PA12, PA 6.12 and PA 4.10, strengthened with a excessive quantity of glass fiber, which may be as a lot as 65%. These composites are recognized for being stiff and difficult, making them appropriate for particular structural tasks that must deal with stress and keep robust over time, whereas additionally having the ability to stand up to impacts.

The additional glass fiber reinforcement offers the compounds additional power, making them a good selection for functions in industries like automotive, aerospace and shopper items manufacturing. Plus, they’re nonetheless simple to make use of within the manufacturing course of, assembly the wants of recent 3D printing manufacturing.

Highlights:

  • Based mostly on light-weight long-chain polyamides
  • Electrically insulating
  • Colourable

An overview of Xenia’s growing portfolio of high-performance composite materials optimized for extrusion-based additive manufacturing. XEBRID 3DP

XEBRID 3DP materials household is made up of thermoplastic composites strengthened with carbon and glass fibers. As with the XECARB 3DP household, the XEBRID 3DP household may be developed on the identical polymer foundation as its carbon-only counterpart, starting from amorphous to semi-crystalline polymer bases. The mixture of each carbon and glass fibers ends in a cloth that has each the light-weight and stiffness attribute of carbon fiber reinforcement and the mechanical and bodily traits of glass fiber.

By way of functions, the XEBRID 3DP household is a wonderful candidate for steel substitute functions, enabling customers to attenuate prices whereas sustaining a excessive efficiency and course of effectivity. Xenia cites a number of potential industries the place XEBRID 3DP supplies could make a distinction, together with agriculture tools, development, industrial tools and oil and gasoline. XEBRID 3DP materials properties also can profit different areas, like sporting tools, aeronautics and mobility and transportation, which require light-weight components with wonderful mechanical properties and good processability.

Highlights:

  • Good worth proposition
  • Versatility
  • Low superficial and volumetric electrical conductivity
  • Combining the mechanical traits of XECARB 3DP with the tenacity and financial system of XEGLASS 3DP

XELIGHT 3DP

Xelight 3DP is Xenia’s household of ultra-light PEBA-based compounds, a thermoplastic elastomer engineered for light-weight and versatile properties. These merchandise are developed based mostly on Arkema’s Pebax supplies group, which affords low density, environment friendly power return and chilly temperature sturdiness.

Optimized for large-format 3D printing, the XELIGHT’s household of compounds is notable for its mixture of lightness (as much as 0.87 g/cm3) and excessive influence power (particularly at low temperatures), in addition to flexibility and wonderful rebound. This particular mixture of fabric properties makes the uncooked materials ideally suited for functions in sports activities and marine, the place minimal weight, flexibility and influence power are required.

Highlights:

  • Supplies lighter than water which allow a density benefit of as much as 15% in contrast with unfilled commonplace grades
  • Variable hardness and density
  • Simply colorable

An overview of Xenia’s growing portfolio of high-performance composite materials optimized for extrusion-based additive manufacturing. XEGREEN 3DP

Because the product title suggests, Xenia’s XEGREEN 3DP supplies are the corporate’s most sustainable vary. These 3D printing-optimized thermoplastics are product of as much as 100% recycled polymers and carbon fibers, however nonetheless supply related properties to the corporate’s commonplace XECARB 3DP grades (when it comes to processability, mechanical properties and electrical traits).

This household of 3D printing supplies consists of compounds based mostly on PA6, PA66, PP, PET-G, PEBA and PA12, every of those that may be strengthened as much as a carbon fiber proportion of fifty%.

As a result of comparable properties of those recycled supplies to the XECARB 3DP household, the XEGREEN 3DP vary is appropriate for quite a lot of industrial functions, together with 3D printing instruments, molds and different manufacturing aids.

Highlights:

  • Excessive content material of recycled polymer and fiber, as much as 100%
  • Batch-to-batch consistency
  • Mechanical properties comparable with the usual XECARB 3DP grades

An increasing 3DP portfolio

It has been lower than a 12 months since Xenia first launched its first composite grades optimized for extrusion-based additive manufacturing, and it already affords a flexible portfolio of supplies, appropriate for markets together with industrial manufacturing, sporting items, sustainable mobility, development, power and protection, amongst others.

Suffice to say, that is only the start for the Italian firm, which has different AM supplies on the horizon based mostly on its current product ranges, like XECARB  SL 3DP, a household of super-light structural compounds strengthened with carbon fibers; XECARB  HM 3DP, characterised by high-modulus carbon fiber reinforcement; and SOFT MATERIALS 3DP, a choice of thermoplastic elastomers strengthened with carbon and glass fibers. Finally, Xenia’s newest enterprise growth isn’t solely creating alternatives for the corporate, however is broadening the marketplace for high-performance 3D printing composites and finally creating new alternatives for AM finish customers and new adopters.

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