With the Carbon® additive manufacturing technology, it is possible to employ materials with performance fully comparable to the thermoplastics used in manufacturing.
This means that one can define a relationship that allows the designer to choose the most suitable of the materials provided by Carbon®, drawing on the experience gained from traditional manufacturing systems.
We have compiled a table comparing the most commonly used thermoplastics with the equivalent Carbon® resin in terms of mechanical properties and intended use.
ABS (used, for example, in Absylux®, Cycolac®, Polystone®, Lustran®, Royalite® and TECARAN™) is a tough and rigid material with moderate resistance to high temperatures and chemicals. It is a material widely used in the automotive and consumer electronics industries.
Carbon® offers two materials that can be used as alternatives to ABS:
Polyamides (used, for example, in nylons and Zytel®, Vestamid®) have different properties depending on the specific type (PA6, PA66, PA11, PA12, PA46).
Unfilled polyamides show excellent toughness and stiffness, but have a greater tendency to take up water. Filled polyamides, on the other hand, offer excellent resistance to mechanical stress, temperature and chemical agents. Their use is often related to ocean cable protection systems, fuel caps, and more generally robotics.
Carbon® offers three materials that can be used as Polyamides:
Polycarbonate (used, for example, in HYDEX®, Makrolon®, Lexan®, TECANAT® and Zelux®) is frequently used when strength and resistance to both impact and temperature are required in a transparent application, such as for electrical components, roofing sheets and CDs.
Carbon® offers three materials that can be used as Polycarbonate:
PMMA (used in acrylics) does not offer particular chemical resistance and tends to be rather brittle, but it shows excellent properties in transmitting light and allows for a glossy, scratch-resistant finish.
As a result of its characteristics, it is widely used for eyeglass lenses, dental implants, and car headlights.
Carbon® offers two materials that can be used as PMMA:
POM (used, for example, in Delrin® and Celcon®) is a stiff and rather tough material known for its lubricious properties, low viscosity and excellent fatigue strength. It is currently used for mechanical gears, springs, chains, nuts, locks and hinges.
Carbon® offers three materials that can be used as POM:
PBT (used, for example, in Crastin®) is known for its excellent electrical conductivity. It is used in EE housings and electrical connectors. Unfilled materials are tough and rigid, while filled materials add mechanical and temperature resistance.
Carbon® offers two materials that can be used as PBT:
Polypropylene is commonly used because of its affordability. Although it has moderate resistance to high temperatures, polypropylene has excellent resistance to acids and bases and is known for its flexibility and consequent use in snap openings. Filled versions (talc, glass, or with minerals) are used to increase temperature resistance and stiffness. Common application areas are flip-flop bottles, piping systems and dishwasher-safe food containers.
Carbon® offers three materials that can be used as Polypropylene:
High-performance thermoplastics (used, for example, in PEEK, PEI (Ultem™), PSU (Udel®, Ultrason®), and PPSU (Radel®)) generally have exceptional resistance to high temperatures and chemicals, exhibit high stiffness and toughness, and are commonly available in flame-retardant versions.
Carbon® offers four materials that can be used as high-performance thermoplastics:
Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomers (TPUs)
Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers (TPUs) have a number of properties, including elasticity, tear strength, chemical and abrasion resistance; they are available in different degrees of hardness and resilience.
Carbon® offers three materials that can be used as TPUs: