Swiss startup NematX has just announced a revolutionary liquid crystal polymer-based material that claims to be up to 10 times stronger than PEEK which is already comparable in strength to weight as steel. NematX specializes in the development of filaments made from high-performance plastics. The liquid crystal polymer state of their thermoplastic is the reason why their new material can achieve such a high amount of strength. It even displays excellent thermal properties with the ability to withstand temperatures of over 250C! Wow. This makes it well suited for the production of end-use parts for aerospace, medical and special industrial applications. We currently don’t know of any other certifications or properties about the material but we’ll probably hear about it more in the future. Either way, this sounds incredibly impressive.
Their CTO and co-founder sat down with our friends at 3D Natives for an interview and explained the story behind the company and their new wonder material. To quote, “During my studies, I began to look intensively at 3D printing and, as a budding materials scientist, I was convinced that I could significantly increase the component quality in polymer 3D printing. As part of my doctoral thesis, I then set myself the goal of developing suitable materials and additive manufacturing processes to one day be able to replace metals and composites. The first prototypes showed exceptionally high strength and stiffness values for polymers and quickly aroused interest in various markets. This finally motivated me to found NematX to make the technology industrially accessible.”
Through a custom extrusion system optimized by the company and a number of other technologies, NematX is able to control the molecular orientation of the material very precisely, resulting in significantly better mechanical and thermal properties when compared to traditional FDM/FFF extrusion based systems we have now. NematX is targeting the traditional aerospace, medical and special industrial applications space where PEEK and other traditional thermoplastics are currently being adopted.
Guess we’ll have to see if it works with our glue when it becomes available. What do you think? We’ve heard about liquid crystal technology in the past, do you have any comments about that? Let us know down below!
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