With new products made from recycled plastics and alternative raw materials, Covestro has opted to focus wholly on the circular economy and the opportunities this presents for additive manufacturing technologies at the upcoming virtual edition of the Formnext trade show.
The sustainability advantages of 3D printing are an increasing factor in the growth of the technology. With additive manufacturing, small 3D printers – compared to traditional manufacturing units – allow parts to be produced locally anywhere in the world, saving on transportation costs. On-demand production reduces waste and stock levels.
And next to decentralised production, demand-driven manufacturing and far less waste, 3D printing also contributes to greater circularity through the use of alternative raw materials, such as - in this case - recycled plastics and CO2-based polyols.
At Formnext, which runs 10-12 November, Covestro will be presenting the latest news about its Addigy portfolio of products for additive manufacturing during an interactive expert session in the virtual Covestro studio on November 10, starting at 11:00 a.m.
"We want to boost the circularity of our products while preserving their excellent properties. That's why we are currently developing new, more sustainable products which are already in the testing phase,” said Patrick Rosso, Global Head of Additive Manufacturing at Covestro.
These include, for example, pellets and filaments made of partially recycled plastics derived from post-industrial waste; the company’s cardyon polyolys, in which CO2 replaces a percentage of the petrochemical raw materials previously used; and partially bio-based products in which almost 50 percent of the carbon content is derived from biomass.
The latter have already been used, for example, to print a shoe insole using selective laser sintering (SLS). Powder-based 3D printing processes, such as SLS, are particularly sustainable as up to 100 percent of the non-sintered powder can be reused in the process due to the low build room temperature.
Covestro has been active in the development of raw materials from biomass, CO2 and waste for several years. It also sees additive manufacturing also offers enormous potential for contributing to full recyclability and closing material cycles in the future.
The company has put in place a strategic program, aimed at accelerating the transition towards more circularity, especially in the chemical and plastics industry, and to contribute to the goal of a greenhouse gas-neutral economy.