AM PowdersMaterialsThermoplastic Polymers

Jabil introduces PK 5000 polyketone powder for SLS

For improved impact strength and greater chemical resistance compared to PA12

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Jabil Inc. launched PK 5000, an eco-friendly, powder-based additive material engineered to deliver improved strength, chemical resistance and resilience in comparison to general-purpose nylon materials, such as PA 12. This patent-pending polyketone material has been formulated to support highly demanding automotive, consumer electronics, defense, medical and industrial manufacturing applications.

“Our latest engineered material will disrupt the market for powder-bed fusion technologies by improving upon existing polymers to offer enhanced processing and performance properties,” said Matt Torosian, director, Product Management, Jabil Additive. “With PK 5000, we are introducing new innovations to meet a broad range of customer requirements while accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing.”

From beaker to box

PK 5000 was created, tested and validated at Jabil’s Materials Innovation Center in Chaska, Minn., where polymer formulations, compound developments and material system integration are completed from start-to-finish under one roof. Highly experienced additive manufacturing engineers, chemists, materials scientists and production experts leverage Jabil’s innovations in materials science to oversee each step of the beaker-to-box process of developing customized powders and filaments all under an ISO 9001-2015 quality management system.

This newest material features a unique combination of chemical and mechanical properties, such as high-impact strength, high-abrasion resistance and improved elongation over other nylon materials to withstand functional testing and use. Equally important, PK 5000 has high-barrier properties and low-moisture absorption, which may be critical for ensuring the quality and resilience of certain parts and products exposed to fuel and water. Moreover, the polyketone resin used to make PK 5000 is an eco-friendly, low-carbon material that is made from carbon monoxide. The ability to leverage carbon monoxide, which is a leading cause of atmospheric pollution, may reduce the overall carbon footprint.

EOS, Farsoon and 3D Systems are currently evaluating PK 5000 for their printer platforms. Jabil is developing process parameters for all major SLS platforms to ensure widespread access to PK 5000.

Jabil introduces PK 5000 polyketone powder for SLS For improved impact strength and greater chemical resistance compared to PA12

“Our relationship with Jabil is unique, as they are a customer, supplier and collaborator in developing new additive manufacturing solutions,” said Donnie Vanelli, SVP, EOS North America. “The industry needs materials geared to end-use production applications, and Jabil is perfectly positioned to address those needs given its core business in bringing many of the world’s top products to reality through complex manufacturing and supply chain management.”

“Materials are a very important component of the solutions we design to address our customers’ application needs,” commented Edwin Hortelano, PhD, SVP, Materials Engineering and Development, 3D Systems. “Our team of materials scientists strive to bring new innovation to market, through in-house development or partnering with fellow industry leaders. We believe PK 5000 has the potential to open a variety of new applications to help propel the industry forward.”

“We are excited to work with Jabil on the PK 5000 rollout, as it will enable additive manufacturing to reach an inflection point for performance, speed and cost,” added Don Xu, Global Business Director, Farsoon Technologies. “When combined with the latest in additive technology, such as Farsoon’s high-speed Flight LPBF systems, this new material will unlock true production scale for polymer additive manufacturing.”

Extending capabilities

In addition to advancements in materials, Jabil continues to extend its global additive manufacturing platforms and solutions to complement its world-class manufacturing capabilities. Jabil has deployed hundreds of 3D printers—from desktop models to highly sophisticated industrial systems—to address a vast range of prototyping, tooling and volume-scale production demands.

Jabil’s rapid tooling operations, additive manufacturing labs and tech centers in North America, Europe and Asia are augmented by AS9100-, ISO 13485- and ISO 9001-certified production centers for aerospace, healthcare and other rigorous applications. Jabil is well-positioned to integrate the best of additive and traditional manufacturing to produce differentiated parts and products using innovative materials, proven Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) principles, industry-leading manufacturing processes, as well as vendor-agnostic technologies and machines.

Polyketone is a family of high-performance thermoplastic polymers. The polar ketone groups in the polymer backbone of these materials give rise to a strong attraction between polymer chains, which increases the material’s melting point (255 °C for copolymer (carbon monoxide ethylene), 220 °C for terpolymer (carbon monoxide, ethylene, propylene).

Trade names include Poketone, Carilon, Karilon, Akrotek, and Schulaketon. Such materials also tend to resist solvents and have good mechanical properties. Unlike many other engineering plastics, aliphatic polyketones such as Shell Chemicals’ Carilon are relatively easy to synthesize and can be derived from inexpensive monomers.

PK 5000 availability and pricing

PK 5000 is available now for a suggested retail price that starts at $45/kg.

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