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3D printing: Air Liquide initiates FAIR, a collaborative project to develop a new French additive manufacturing sector

The collaborative project FAIR (French acronym for Additive Manufacturing for the Intensification of Reactors) intends to develop a new reactor-exchanger technology based on additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. As part of its open innovation approach with several academic and industrial partners, Air Liquide is contributing to the creation of a new French industrial sector in the area of intensifying processes that will serve new usages such as hydrogen mobility, individual and collective heating, or the production of nutritional additives.

Initiated by the Air Liquide R&D and the French start-up Poly-Shape, specialized in additive manufacturing, the collaborative project FAIR aims to offer, in the next 3 to 5 years, intensified equipment (reactors-exchangers) that is more compact, more energy efficient and more cost- effective for many industries (chemical, petrochemical, aerospace, automotive) and tertiary services (heat pumps, cogeneration). Adisseo and Auer, along with five academic partners, are also involved in the project intended to create and sustain a genuine French industrial sector.

The FAIR project is developing skills and expertise in the field of additive manufacturing by incorporating, for the first time, constraints that are mechanical, thermal, fluidic, and chemical. It covers design, manufacturing, functionalization, integration, and the uses of this new “intensified” equipment.

FAIR has received 10.5 million euros in financial support for a total cost of €35 million over 4 years, in connection with the PIA Future Investments Program operated by Bpifrance.

This collaborative project is further illustration of the Air Liquide group's open innovation strategy.