X-MAT earns $1.2m DOE contract to test coal-enhanced 3D printing materials

X-MAT, the Advanced Materials Division of Semplastics, has been awarded a $1.2 million contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) to research and test coal-enhanced 3D printing materials.

The contract was awarded to X-MAT as the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management announced four projects that would focus on coal-based resins or filaments for additive manufacturing, with each project receiving over $1m in funding.

X-MAT plans to apply its materials technology of high-temperature plastics and ceramic composites to develop 3D printing filaments using two of the most common coal waste materials: bituminous coal fines and fly ash. After the research phase of the project is complete, the best filament formulations will be used to additively manufacture several demonstration objects with a commercially available 3D printing system. X-MAT, who has previously worked in 3D printing with Nano Dimension, believes the project will help to yield a sustainable solution for coal waste. 

“We’re recycling coal waste and reimagining it,” commented Semplastics and X-MAT founder Bill Easter. “We’re excited to receive this grant from the DOE so that we can continue to research ways to reuse coal waste. With this project, we’re seeing technology’s ability to offer innovative sustainable solutions. We’re 3D printing coal waste – that’s cool. It’s sustainable, eco-friendly and continues our company’s mission to give coal a new reputation.”

The three other research contracts handed out as part of the DOE’s coal-based additive manufacturing research endeavours include a coal-enhanced PEEK filament project led by Baker Hughes Energy Transition; an FDM 3D printing of carbonised structures via waste-enhanced filaments project led by Ohio University; and a lab-scale production of coal-derived graphene particle bonded filaments project led by University of Delaware.


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