Initially developed over several decades by the US conglomerate Hytrel, Zytel, Surlyn have been turned into filament form, each providing different functionalities. According to the company, these features are as follows:
- Hytrel – “the flexibility of rubber with the strength and processability of thermoplastics.”
- Zytel – “outstanding heat resistance with chemical-and-hydrolosis resistance.”
- Surlyn – “clarity and low-temperature impact toughness with excellent chemical-and abrasion-resistance.”
In their pre-existing forms, the company can already demonstrate a number of use cases for the materials. Hytel has been used by the company to create Constant Velocity Joint boots for automobiles due to its advanced durability characteristics. Zytel on the other hand is the name used by DuPont to refer to nylon resin products, such as heat-resisting engine covers. And Surlyn is resin based, finding use as a surface layer for products such as golf balls and perfume bottles.
One of DuPont’s competitors, 3M has also recently entered the 3D printing market. 3M has developed 3D printable fluoropolymers in the form of SLA resins.
Adoption of 3D printing
Rahul Kasat, Development Manager at DuPont Performance Materials, spoke about the announcement and how the company is responding to a demand from the industry.
He says, "We are very excited about the addition of these new filament-based products to our existing portfolio and the progress made in the launch of these products for the 3D printing industry. We believe these products will help our customers meet their needs for prototyping and manufacturing using 3D printing as this technology continues to get adopted across multiple industries".
Adapting these materials into new 3D printing forms demonstrates the attitude of well established material companies. Likewise HP has just announced their Material Development Kit (MDK). The MDK supports material suppliers to develop and certify new powder materials for the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer.