After this week, the additive manufacturing industry will be working with much broader range of materials, as many high-performance 3D printing materials have been unveiled at RAPID + TCT. DuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers is behind a number of these new releases, including six new Zytel polyamide and Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPC-ET) pellets and two new Hytrel filaments.
The new pelletized material grades introduced by DuPont (which were hinted at back in April) are targeted at pellet extrusion modelling processes and help to increase manufacturing agility and cost-effectiveness by enabling manufacturers to easily transition from prototyping to small-series, pre-series and mass production, while benefiting from similar and easily maintained material properties.
“As 3D printing capabilities advance beyond traditional prototyping and small-volume production, the industry is looking to scale up and accelerate production while driving down costs,” commented Christophe Paulo, a strategic marketer at DuPont EMEA. “By delivering our products as pellets as well as filaments, DuPont gives customers the flexibility to use the same material across different processes.
“For instance, they can create prototypes with fused layer modeling and final parts with pellet extrusion modeling—or even injection molding for very high volumes—while maintaining consistent properties. The addition of pelletized materials to our offering supports the trend toward mass customization using 3D printing.”
The new pelletized and filamentized materials introduced by DuPont offer a range of properties, including hardnesses, fiber reinforcement and colour. Let’s take a closer look at the new releases.
New Zytel Polyamides
In its Zytel material range, DuPont is introducing new glass fiber-reinforced, carbon fiber-reinforced and unreinforced Zytel PA pellets for 3D printing. The pellets add to the company’s longstanding range of Zytel resins, which have been used for various applications for over 70 years.
Zytel grades are known for their strength, stiffness, ultra-low shrinkage and warpage, as well as their high heat and chemical resistance and low moisture absorption (compared to PA6 copolyamide). The new materials for 3D printing are designed to maintain their properties even after extrusion.
In the glass fiber-reinforced category, DuPont has introduced two new pellet grades: Zytel 3D 12G30PT with 30% glass fiber reinforcement and Zytel 3D12G50PT pellets with 50% reinforcement. Both pellet grades feature a heat deflection temperature greater than 150°C, good surface finish and chemical resistance.
The company has also released one new carbon fiber-reinforced material: Zytel 3D10C20PT pellets with 20% reinforcement. This material boasts strength and low weight, making it ideal for structural applications in the aerospace and automotive sectors. DuPont’s carbon fiber-reinforced materials also boast an HDT greater than 150°C and excellent chemical resistance. All of the three aforementioned materials are available in black.
Last but not least in the Zytel releases is the unreinforced Zytel 3D1000PT in pellet form, which comes in a natural colour. The material is suitable for producing functional 3D printed parts with good aesthetics, elongation and low friction. The material, like DuPont’s other unreinforced Zytel grades, has an HDT greater than 100°C and low shrinkage properties.
New Hytrel TPC-ET pellets and filaments
Hytrel TPC-ET is described by DuPont as a versatile copolyester material that comes in various hardnesses for a range of different applications. The semi-crystalline material combines a number of sought after properties, including the flexibility of rubber and the strength and processability of thermoplastics. The material group has low shrinkage properties, as well as heat and chemical resistance, strength and durability.
DuPont is introducing two new Hytrel TPC-ET grades (available in both pellet and filament form), all of which display excellent 3D printing performance and consistent mechanical properties. The 3D printing grades of the materials can be translated to injection molding. The new materials are 60 Shore D grades: Hytrel 3D4100PT pellets in natural and Hytrel 3D4100FL filament in black; and 40 Shore D grades: Hytrel 3D4000PT pellets in natural and Hytrel 3D4000FL filament in black.