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February 2013

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FDM Collaboration Enables Quick Customized Aerospace Parts

SABIC's Innovative Plastics business announced that its strong, lightweight, flame-retardant ULTEM 9085 resin now helps to address one of the biggest challenges for aerospace OEMs - the ability to produce small volume parts quickly and cost-effectively. "Together with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology from Stratasys, Inc., this material is enabling Stratasys' customer, Taylor-Deal Aviation LLC (TDA), based in Dallas, TX, to create specialty fluid and air handling parts in hours rather than weeks, while meeting the latest industry regulations for flame, smoke and toxicity," said a company spokesperson.

According to SABIC, key benefits of the ULTEM 9085 resin with FDM include enhanced design flexibility, cost-effective low production runs, accelerated cycle times and compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and OEM flame-smoke-toxicity regulations.

"Taylor-Deal Aviation is pioneering new technologies that give aerospace customers cost, time and weight savings," said Brian M. Taylor, President, Taylor-Deal Aviation. "With SABIC's high-performance ULTEM resin and Stratasys' advanced FDM technology, we are creating exciting new designs that enable the cost-effective manufacture of small quantities of specialty parts. This new solution is helping us to rapidly supply customers with superior components offering FAA compliance and light weight for better fuel efficiency and driving our growth into new global markets."

"Our FDM equipment is ideal for quickly producing parts with complex geometries that could not be done as easily or cost-effectively using traditional manufacturing processes," said Ryan Sybrant, Business Development Manager, Stratasys. "Success with FDM also depends upon using the right material. Combining FDM technology with SABIC's ULTEM resin gives customers like Taylor-Deal Aviation a total solution. It's an alternative design and manufacturing method that can create finished parts for demanding aviation applications."

The patented Stratasys FDM process and additive manufacturing process create three-dimensional parts directly from computer aided design files, layer-by-layer, for use in design verification, prototyping, development and manufacturing. According to the company, FDM technology solves two key challenges for TDA:

  • In custom aircraft designs and modifications there are geometric limitations that make traditional manufacturing methods ineffective.
  • Tooling for fiberglass parts and machining costs for metallic parts make them too expensive for low production runs that are very common in aerospace.

ULTEM Resin Boosts Value Proposition of FDM

"Compared to competitive materials such as polyetheretherketone (PEEK), ULTEM 9085 resin delivers compliance with FAA FAR 25.853 requirements, including Ohio State University (OSU) 55/55," said the spokesperson. "It features inherent flame retardance without additives. ULTEM 9085 resin also provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, outstanding elevated thermal resistance, high strength and stiffness and broad chemical resistance."

David Wildgoose, General Manager, Engineering Resins, Innovative Plastics, said, "The exceptional physical properties of our high-performance ULTEM resin enhance the value of FDM technology to quickly produce differentiated manufactured components. As a result, TDA not only gains efficiencies from the FDM process, but is also able to deliver customized components that meet the most stringent aircraft safety requirements and contribute to sustainability. Using FDM with ULTEM resin presents great opportunities for a wide range of applications where there were previously no cost-effective solutions."

According to the company, FDM technology using ULTEM 9085 resin can be applied to other industries, such as rail and other transportation sectors, where it is vital to remove manufacturing costs, eliminate weight to reduce fuel consumption, improve design freedom and meet flame-smoke-toxicity safety standards. Applications include parts and ductwork to handle air or fluids in hidden spaces, or other parts requiring complex geometries. Stratasys' technology may be utilized for other industries, including automotive, consumer, medical and military.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is a petrochemical company that produces polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC's Innovative Plastics business is a producer of thermoplastic resins, coatings, specialty compounds, film and sheet.

Stratasys Inc. is a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company markets under the brands Mojo, uPrint and Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus Production 3D Printers. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a digital-manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts.

Taylor-Deal Aviation, LLC offers turn-key product support, engineering design, stress analysis, test plan/report preparation, weight and balance analysis, flammability test plans/reports and coordination of the certification effort of aircraft modifications.

For more information contact:

SABIC Innovative Plastics

One Plastics Ave.

Pittsfield, MA 01201


Stratasys, Inc.

7665 Commerce Way

Eden Prairie, MN 55344

800-937-3010 / 952-937-3000

Taylor-Deal Aviation, LLC

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