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Monday, December 13, 2010

Rhodia launches polyamide powders for rapid prototyping

Rhodia has announced the upcoming launch of polyamide (PA) powders for rapid prototyping and small series manufacturing by selective laser sintering (SLS). This is the first time that PA 6 powders are offered for direct part fabrication by SLS, claimed the company. The range will be extended to include PA 66 powders in the coming months.


Using SLS, designers and processors can produce complete families of fully functional prototype parts, said Rhodia, before they cut any metal for tooling. Once the design is validated, they can even use SLS for limited series commercial production.


“With processing properties perfectly adapted to SLS laser sintering – as well as other fabrication techniques based on addition of layers of powder – this new product range makes these innovative technologies much more accessible than before, opening the way to new applications and new markets,” said Jean-Pierre Marchand, director of marketing and innovation for Rhodia’s Engineering Plastics activities.


The part of the rapid prototyping/manufacturing sector using these additive technologies has a current turnover of around €800m, with a potential estimated to reach €3bn in 2015.


“In this context, the potential for SLS powders is forecast to rise to between €100m and €200m by 2020,” explains Pierre-Emmanuel Lucas, director of the PA powder project at Rhodia. “With this new range of materials, Rhodia expects to play an important part in this market.”


By Anthony Clark via 


Rhodia Polyamide


Rhodia Polyamide supplies customers around the world with a wide range of industrial and consumer goods based mainly on its core product, Polyamide 6.6.

The world’s second largest producer of Polyamide 6.6, and with a fully integrated Polyamide manufacturing chain, the enterprise producesintermediates and polymers (for downstream polyamide and non-polyamide products, such as polyurethanes and food additives), oxygenated solvents (for the industrial paints, leather, automotive, packaging and inks markets), engineering plastics (for the automotive, electrical and electronics markets), fibers (used in the automotive, tire, filtration, print, rope, carpet, furniture and textile markets) and textile and industrial yarns (for lingerie, clothing and sportswear).

In 2007, for the fourth consecutive year, Rhodia Polyamide generated growth on the engineering plastics market twice that of market growth worldwide, a result of its expansion in the rapidly developing markets of Asia and South America.


Leading brands & innovation


The enterprise has launched more than 20 new product lines during the past five years, with its flagship brand Technyl® regularly enhanced by innovations, including, in 2007, the launch of Technyl Star™ AFX, a polyamide 6.6 with exceptional fluidity to fill the gap between standard polyamides and higher-cost metals or engineering plastics.

Rhodia Polyamide offers as well the industry’s largest PA 66 Polymer brand,STABAMID®, by combining the Polyamide 66 intermediates through a top class process of polymerization. 
Our Polyamide 66 STABAMID® polymers offer exceptional performances for high quality products and a full range of products for engineering plastics, industrial yarns, textile or fibers market.


Total sales 2009: €1,476 million




Leadership positions


  • N°2 in the world in polyamide 6.6 markets

  • N°2 in the world for polyamide-based engineering plastics

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