4/20/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

Nanodiamond-Enhanced, PVDF & PEKK 3D Filaments Emerge

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Partnerships result in great material additions for additive manufacturing.

There is definitely an uptick in the frequency with which we are hearing about new materials developments for additive manufacturing. More often, it appears that the more interesting 3D filaments are the result of partnerships between materials and/or additive suppliers and filament manufacturers. Take a look at two excellent examples which will only serve to push additive manufacturing ahead.

● Finnish nanodiamond manufacturer Carbodeon Oy (represented in U.S. by Silicon Sense Inc., Nashua, N.H.) and Dutch 3D printing specialist Tiamet 3D have launched what is said to be the world’s first nanodiamond-enhanced filaments for 3D printing.

The Carbodeon/Tiamet filaments are based on a jointly-patented technology which is said to significantly improve the mechanical and thermal properties of 3D printed items. The nanodiamonds reportedly offer the potential to make 3D-oriented components that perform as well as or better than comparable injection molded components, but with massive cost reductions and production speed improvements, especially for prototype, on-demand and short-run production.

Targeting the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries, among others, the first Carbodeon/Tiamet 3D filaments are PLA-based, with further development focused on higher-performance thermoplastics. The companies have signed a strategic partnership agreement on joint filament development, along with an agreement for Carbodeon to supply nanodiamond materials to Tiamet 3D. The filaments are available from both Carbodeon and Tiamet 3D and sold under the uDiamond brand.  

● Manufacturer of premium 3D printing filaments 3DXTech LLC, Byron Center, Mich., is launching filaments based on Kynar PVDF and semi-crystalline Kepstan PEKK from Arkema, King of Prussia, Penn.

The new filaments are now available in 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters and are marketed under the Firewire trademark. Says 3DXTTech’s president Matt Howlett, “We are proud to partner with Arkema…our R&D teams worked well together to solve major challenges, particularly with the semi-crystalline polymers that are typically not ideally suited for extrusion printing.”

Kynar PVDF has been used for decades in demanding industrial applications that require strong resistance to a wide range of aggressive chemicals. The material exhibits high thermal stability up to 150 C/302 F and extreme durability in direct sunlight exposure. Kepstand PEKK is an extreme performance thermoplastic with a highly stable chemical backbone. Its semi-crystalline structure reportedly offers an outstanding combination of mechanical and thermal strength together with tremendous chemical and fire resistance. The Kepstan PEKK filaments are said to offer both ease of printability and the highest performance of any thermoplastic material currently available. 

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