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2nd May 2019, Bollate

Solvay announces winners of AM Cup 2019

The overall winner was the Gekko Performance team from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. © Solvay

The overall winner was the Gekko Performance team from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. © Solvay

Solvay has revealed the winners of its AM Cup 2019 for university students around the world to fabricate specific shapes using Radel PPSU AM (additive manufacturing) filament. Winners were selected from 35 student teams from 32 universities across three continents.

Each team received a spool of Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) AM filament with the main challenge to replicate an ASTM D638 Type V size tensile bar in the z-axis and a wavy-shaped pressure pipe, a difficult shape to injection mould. Key criteria to be met in the main challenge were maximum dimensional accuracy, mechanical performance, including burst pressure tests, and translucency. In addition, the jury evaluated the creativity of the 3D printing methods.

The overall winner, rewarded for a thorough optimization of all aspects of the printing process and equipment, was the Gekko Performance team from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. The team secured the first prize due to its ability to achieve 100% z-axis strength in the Type V size tensile bar and its wavy pipe showed overall dimensional accuracy, surface uniformity, and a remarkable mechanical performance by enduring a burst pressure test of 1,400 psi (96.5 bar) for two hours.

Two teams from Ghent University, Belgium – PPSUsual and PPSUPER – were awarded second and third place respectively. Very little separated the teams as both achieved the next best performance in tensile modulus, tensile strength, and ductility. 

“It was inspiring to see the various approaches to solving the challenges of fused filament fabrication (FFF) such as bed adhesion and chamber temperature management. The winning team demonstrated once more that 3D printed parts can virtually match the performance and quality of conventional injection moulded parts, provided material, hardware, and process are optimised together,” said Ryan Hammonds, R&D platform manager for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit and president of the AM Cup Jury.

“We look forward to sharing with our customers the benefits gained from this edition of the Solvay AM Cup for 3D printing the best possible PPSU parts for applications in various industries such as aerospace, healthcare and industrial.”

The winning teams selected by an international jury received ten, five and three thousand euros respectively, to be reinvested in academic, societal or entrepreneurial activities.

The Solvay AM Cup challenge was initiated to demonstrate the potential of high-performance 3D printing materials in the hands of talented design and engineering students with a passion for exploring the art of the possible for this disruptive, revolutionary technology.

Solvay has taken a lead in the rapidly evolving AM market and offers a growing range of filaments for applications in different printing and fusion processes. Besides Radel PPSU, the current portfolio also comprises neat and carbon filled KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) AM filaments, including medical-grade formulations for limited-contact healthcare applications. These advanced filaments have recently been added to the Digimat simulation software database of e-Xstream engineering, allowing customers to predict and optimize their parts in order “to print right the first time”.

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