At Smart Materials 3D we are always creating and innovating, and soon we will have very good news, it is a new material that optimizes the technical qualities of our SMARTFIL® PP with an added fiberglass filler.
This development it is a result of a new compounding manufacturing line, which have become a powerful process to development and customized material for our clients. Within this framework, the new developed material that we have already is called INNOVATEFIL ® PP GF and is much better than PP in many aspects.
One of the most important advantages of this new material is the improved adherence of the fiberglass reinforcement to the polymer matrix achieved during the manufacturing process. As technical data, we can say that the cohesion was verified using the technique bar electron microscopy (SEM) characterization, as shown in the images; in the image on the left, the fibers are clean and separated, whereas in the image on the right, a complete cohesion and wrap of the polypropylene in the glass fibers is appreciated, allowing us to obtain a filament with high mechanical performance.
Another advancement is the alignment of the reinforcement, as additive manufacturing allows the fibers to be aligned in a predefined direction parallel to the printing path.
This fiber alignment favors resistance to loads applied perpendicular to the fiber orientation, conferring greater resistance in finished pieces.
On the other hand, the addition of optimized fiberglass increases the material’s rigidity and increases its maximum tensile strength, allowing for the creation of pieces that can withstand higher loads while remaining ductile.
The stress level rises by 38%, reaching up to 17Mpa. Similarly, PP GF outperforms PP in terms of flexural strength, or resistance to deformation, reaching values of up to 100Mpa.
Another advantage of using fiberglass as a reinforcement for 3D printing is the polymer’s dimensional stability, which eliminates problems associated with polypropylene, such as warping and cracking.
Another consideration is the ease of printing at temperatures comparable to those of PP, a material optimized for printing with 0.4mm nozzles that allow for greater detail in printing. For correct printing, the use of Smart Stick to achieve adhesion on the bed and steel nozzle to prevent wear is always recommended.
Finally, it is important to note that the development of this new material was made possible by the significant steps we took in our R&D department with the development of the compounding process, which allows us to work with a wide range of options as carbon fiber, graphite, ceramic fibers, glass fibers, metal fillers, polymeric fibers, and other loads or reinforcements that allow polymers to be given new mechanical, thermal, electrical, processability, and durability properties, among others.
Also, through the inclusion of additives such as pigments, plasticizers, lubricants, biocides, thermal stabilizers, antioxidants, UV light stabilizers, combustion retardants, among others, it allows to provide new developments with specific characteristics, all of which opens the possibility of creating very varied and innovative products for additive manufacturing.
Stay tuned, this is just a taste; we will soon launch the new INNOVATEFIL ® PP GF, and we assure you that it will have the same quality and rigorous guarantee that we always provide in all of our materials.