May 2, 2018 | By David

3D printing pioneer Carbon has announced the release of two new materials, to add to its impressive portfolio of 3D printing solutions. The company works at the intersection of hardware, software, and molecular science, and its proprietary Digital Light Synthesis technology has been adopted by a number of high-profile clients including Adidas, which will be releasing the 3D printed Futurecraft 4D shoe to a wider market this year. Carbon’s new 3D printing materials are Epoxy (EPX) 82 and Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU) 41.

EPX 82 is a high-strength engineering material with a heat-deflection temperature of 125°C. It also possesses good impact strength. The material has mechanical properties that are comparable to lightly glass-filled thermoplastics, such as GF-Nylon or GF-PBT. Its combination of properties makes it ideal for applications that require a balance of strength, toughness, and thermal-cycling durability.

The manufacturing of brackets, connectors, and housings for use in the automotive industry is one area where Carbon’s EPX 82 3D printing material could have a serious impact. UK-based automotive parts company Aptiv (formerly Delphi) has already taken advantage of what the material has to offer.

According to Jerry Rhinehart, Manager of Additive Manufacturing Development at Aptiv, "When selecting a material for the production of electrical connector housings, it is critical that the material is tough and allows for flex-features to perform adequately, yet stiff enough to yield strong, thin-walled geometries. These mechanical properties must also be maintained as the connector withstands harsh environmental conditions, including temperature-humidity cycling and exposure to caustic chemicals. Carbon's newly released EPX 82 provides a level of performance that allows us to tackle the USCAR-2 T2 temperature class of connection systems. Our confidence in this material enables our product development engineers to free their minds from the design constraints imposed by traditional manufacturing processes, paving the way for the creation of connectors that outperform their injection-molded counterparts by adding value through geometric complexity."

EPU 41 is another worthy addition to Carbon’s impressive materials portfolio. It compares favourably with the company’s other elastomeric materials, including SIL 30 and EPU 40. The material is especially well-suited for producing elastomeric lattice geometries, which can outdo traditional foams in terms of safety and comfort. This is due to its tear strength, energy return, and elongation, which make it perfect for cushioning and impact absorption.

This lattice geometry is the kind of structure that was used to such good effect in the Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoe, in combination with Digital Light Synthesis technology. Carbon has an extensive library of tunable elastomer lattices as well as software tools that improve the development of lattice structures. They help to take the guesswork out of the process for engineers and designers, offering testing of load requirements and manufacturing feasibility, as well as the production of multiple functional zones within the same part.

(images: Carbon, Aptiv)

EPU 41 has a higher resilience at room and low temperatures than Carbon’s similar EPU 40 material does. EPU 41 has also shown great performance in fatigue tests as well as tests of hydrolysis, UV-stability, and plastic deformation.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

 

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