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Slovak scientists have developed resistant material for 3D printers

Research

5.6.2020, 555 visits
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Scientist of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and the Slovak University of Technology, in cooperation with the company MyMedia s.r.o., have developed a new material for 3D printers, which lighter, more ecological, more resistant and more affordable. The results of this research were published in the Applied Sciences journal and their success was noticed by several worldwide scientific web pages dealing with 3D printing. The new material is a polymer composite, which includes recycled material. It is a repeatedly processed polymer, which is very favourable from the point of view of environmental protection. A mixture of carbon fibres and graphite was used as a filler. 

“Graphite is a naturally occurring material, and the graphite fibres are known for imparting strength to the material. The using of a hybrid filler, the mixture of these fibres and the graphite causes that the material has significantly better mechanical properties than a pure polymer matrix, and, simultaneously, is also more favourable for 3D printing, because the resultant print is not so rough, and thanks to that the printing nozzle wears less,” said Zdeno Špitálsky from the Polymer Institute SAS.

Cartridges for 3D printers are made of the composite material, and it is suitable for technical usage where the excellent mechanical properties, and, concurrently, a significant reduction of weight, are required

“The prints are extremely strong, the layers hold rigidly, and the overall firmness of the products is extraordinary. The individual layers adhere perfectly.  In comparison with the competing materials, it enables the printing of large products with a total length of over 6 meters as well as several-days non-stop 3D printing. The final products look nicer, which improves the subsequent work with the products and saves time. Last but not least, the final products are about 25% lighter,” added the polymer chemist.

Monika Tináková

Photo: Polymer Institute SAS

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A comparison of the products printed under the same conditions. On the left - the commercial fibre CF PETG, on the right - the hybrid fibre from the recycled PETG
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A sample of the hybrid string on the left, and simple parts printed from it (right)