Aerospace manufacturer Boeing has OEM qualified 3D printer Stratasys’ Antero 800NA thermoplastic filament for flight parts. As a result, the PEKK-based polymer can now be used for the additive manufacturing of end-user components on board Boeing aircraft.
Scott Sevcik, Stratasys Vice President Aerospace, said, “Boeing has recognized the tremendous value of Antero for applications that could not previously be 3D printed. Additive manufacturing offers tremendous benefits for simplifying the aerospace supply chains in both original equipment and MRO. However, robust materials were needed to meet demanding flight requirements. “
Part 3D printed with Antero 800NA. Photo via Stratasys.
Antero 800NA polymer
Antero 800NA is a high-performance PEKK-based polymer specially developed for Stratasys’ industrial-grade FDM 3D printers such as: F900 and the Fortus 450mc. It is also available as a material option for customers who choose the company’s on-demand manufacturing service, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. The other filament in the Antero family is 840CN03, a close relative with electrostatic dissipation properties.
With a tensile strength of 93 MPa and an elongation at break of 6%, 800NA would like to combine the excellent mechanical and low outgassing properties of PEKK with the freedom of design of FDM 3D printing. The high strength, heat and chemical resistance, toughness and wear resistance of the filament make it an excellent all-round alternative to metals such as aluminum for aerospace applications.
Following the publication of the BMS8-444 specification, Boeing has now added the Antero 800NA to its Qualified Product List (QPL) after extensive performance tests. It is the first Stratasys material to be qualified by Boeing for chemical and fatigue resistance. For example, the filament was previously used to prototype an air duct where its jet fuel resistance and light weight would work well.
Air duct prototype with Antero 800NA. Photo via Stratasys.
Boeing and additive manufacturing
Over the years, Boeing has become increasingly involved in various technologies and materials for additive manufacturing – no doubt due to technological advances in the industry. At the beginning of 2020 the company completed First flight of his 777X jetpowered by two GE9X motors GE Aviation. The engines are known to contain over 300 3D printed parts, including the famous LEAP fuel nozzle.
More recently, Boeing has partnered with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) announced that it will start with one £ 11.8m R&D project to advance various manufacturing technologies in Scotland. To simplify the program, a lease was signed with a real estate investment firm Canmoor for a 60,000 square meter storage unit in Westway Park in Renfrew. The facility will have its own area specially built to promote additive manufacturing in the country.
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The image shown shows a part 3D printed with Antero 800NA. Photo via Stratasys.