AIMPLAS is a technology centre with 30 years of experience in the plastics industry. We provide solutions to companies throughout the value chain, from raw material manufacturers to plastic processors and end users.
We add value to companies so that they can create wealth and provide employment and we work to solve the challenges facing the use of plastic in today’s society in order to improve people’s quality of life and ensure environmental sustainability.
Over 9000 m2 of facilities with cutting-edge technology and over 30 pilot plants are available to test all plastic processing applications, including thermoplastic, thermoset and composite processing. Our laboratories have the highest number of accreditations for plastics according to the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
We develop R&D projects (technical execution as well as management) related to the development of polymeric materials, processes and final products, being present in the throughout the value chain of Additive Manufacturing. AIMPLAS designs, develops and produces materials and bio-materials for AM for FDM (in pellet and filament shapes) and bio-printers. The company has product design, synthesis, compounding, extrusion and functional printing also, all of the leaning on AM to develop R&D&I projects in Health, Industry 4.0, Circular economy, Climate change, Food safety, Agriculture and Sustainable mobility
We cover the 3 areas:
> Product design. Assessment and assistance in the designing process bearing in mind the application requirements and AM technologies characteristics. Using CAD/CAM/CAE program Siemens NX.
> Material Research. Suitable material selection according to the product final use.
> Manufacturing process. Selection of the best suited/most appropriate technologies considering design and material to obtain the parts aimed functionality.
In our synthesis department, we focus on obtaining innovative polymeric materials and nanoparticles with advanced properties that have technological applications in the industry.
Some of the most relevant sectors in which these new polymers can be used are the medical industry (materials with new functionalities, biocompatible materials, etc.), and the petrochemical, aeronautical, aerospace, wind and energy sectors.
Compounding processes are the basis for the development of composite plastic materials with advanced properties.
AIMPLAS offers solutions for the development of new thermoplastic compounds and the improvement of existing compounds, adapting them to new company specifications and standards. We obtain masterbatches at pilot plant level to validate properties and processability.
Compounding improves mechanical properties, the compatibility of different blended materials, the dispersion of pigments and fillers, and the processability of PLA, PHB and PVOH, as well as dispersing nanoparticles effectively. We can also solve odour problems in plastics and give electrical and thermal conductivity and antimicrobial properties to materials.
Extrusion is one of the most widely used technologies for the transformation of plastic materials, mainly due to its versatility. Different products such as tubes, profiles, bottles, sheets and films are produced by extrusion.
Many different plastic materials can be produced by extrusion, from synthetic to natural materials, with different properties and for a wide range of applications.
In AIMPLAS, we provide solutions for the development of high-performance materials for FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) and SLA (Selective Laser Sintering). We develop plastic materials for 3D printing via physical and/or chemical modifications until the requirements defined by the client are met: Bioplastics and recycled materials, Materials with different types of natural or synthetic fillers and reinforcements, Materials with conductive properties, Materials with improved mechanical properties.
For this technology, AIMPLAS owns several printers, always with different characteristics in order to optimize the development of materials:
- Ultimaker 2
- Ultimaker 3
- BQ Whitbox 2
- Markforged Mark Two
- JCR3D 600 Pro
- Formlabs Form 2
- Regemat V1
Today, printing technologies can deposit functional materials onto different substrates (plastics, metal, wood, cardboard, glass and textiles), bringing significant advantages when compared to traditional printing.
The inks, varnishes, lacquers and coatings used in printing and finishing processes can now be utilized to add optical, mechanical and physical properties to substrates and integrate chromium-active, conductive, semiconductor and dielectric functionalities, among others.
In AIMPLAS, we work both to add value to traditional printed products, and to develop new products and materials with advanced properties to be printed or deposited by the main industrial techniques.
Most important R&D&I lines
A very interesting R&D&I line where AIMPLAS involves AM is Healthcare:
The use of plastic materials in medicine has contributed to improving patients’ quality of life, to increasing hygiene, and reducing costs. Yet there are no limits as to where future innovation in the health industry will take the use of plastic materials.
In AIMPLAS, we carry out research into the development, improvement and characterisation of biocompatible polymeric materials for medical applications, such as prostheses, bone regeneration, and tissue reconstruction. We contribute to improving radiotherapy treatments thanks to innovative polymeric markers.
In this area, 3D printing allows us to investigate new shapes and mechanisms to implement, using it for prototyping (with medical devices development projects, where TRLs are higher) and characterization, compatibility, and processability of bio-materials developed for us (with bio-printer Regemat), where TRL are lower
Another R&D&I developed for AIMPLAS where AM is present are:
- Industry 4.0
- Circular economy
- Climate change
- Food safety
- Sustainable mobility