American additive fabrication machine maker, Stratasys announced at the EuroMold Show (Dec 3, Frankfurt) that it offer SABIC's ULTEM* 9085, a high-performance thermoplastic for direct digital manufacturing (DDM) and rapid prototyping for its patented fused deposition molding (FDM) process by Q1, 2009 . DDM brings great efficiencies for low-volume manufacturing and the ability to build spare parts on demand. The availability of ULTEM 9085 for the FDM process will offer aerospace manufacturers to adopt DDM practices on a larger scale. As per the company, DDM allows part design integration and curtailment of lead times.
ULTEM 9085 is a strong, lightweight, flame-retardant thermoplastic widely used in aircraft interiors. The material has a V-Ø rating for flame, smoke and toxicity (FST). Since ULTEM 9085 is certified for use on commercial aircrafts, manufacturers can bypass a lengthy certification process. Until today, ULTEM 9085 was available only for conventional manufacturing and was originally developed to help the aerospace industry boost fuel efficiency and safety. DDM is the process of manufacturing parts directly from CAD data using additive fabrication. Besides the aerospace industry, the company anticipates that the availability of ULTEM 9085 for FDM prototyping and production can benefit various industries, including the marine-product and automotive industries.