First Time Ever Processing Polyurethanes by Additive Manufacturing.
In a cooperation between ebalta and German RepRap (Manufacturer of 3D printers) the Liquid Additive Manufacturing process (LAM) has been adapted to process polyurethenes by additive manufacturing. The process has been shown to the public firstly at the Munich PSE polyurethane exhibition in June 2017.
The main target of this polyurethane project is to create the right material properties for functional parts. By varying mixing ratio it is possible to print hard/ soft combinations and provide materials with defined characteristics such as flame proofing or UV stabilisation.
The main advantage is that in opposite to melted layers material characteristics due to chemical crosslinking are isotropic, having full strength also in z-direction. Actually processing parameters and materials are optimized so we are going to present the finished product in November at the FormNext Exhibition in Frankfurt (Halle 3.1, Stand D30). The prototype shown on the PSE Munich has drawn interest from various industrial sectors so PU-3D-printing is considered as the “material for the future”.
Additive manufacturing processes have only a limited choice of materials and depending on application different requirements have to be fulfilled. The selection of material and machines is based on maximal installation size, thickness of layers and printing speed. The actual trend in the market is to expand these points and to increase the range of materials to optimize the final result. Here polyurethanes offer the base for a broad variety of materials and ebalta has a more than 40-year experience in formulating them.
With a sophisticated pump technology it is possible to meter also very small amounts with highest precision in the right mixing ratio. Thus deposition rate can be adapted to traveling distance of the 3D-printer. Speed of deposition does not depend on the melting rate of the material and thus high printing speeds are possible. Waiting some seconds is enough to give a good curing before the next layer is applied.
For further Informations please contact our product manager Clemens Saalbach.
We are looking forward to your call!