Replacing Metals with Super Polymers in Additive Manufacturing: Is it Still Worth It?
Plus 3 Technopolymers that are #stronglikemetal
The invention of super polymers made it possible for thermoplastic materials to replace traditional metals in additive manufacturing. However, recent advancements in technology have now made it possible to 3D print traditional metals like copper, bronze, titanium, and even stainless steel. Is making the switch from metal to super polymers still worth it?
Why Super Polymers are the Best Materials for Additive Manufacturing
Thermoplastic materials are not only excellent in chemical, thermal, and mechanical resistance, they are also:
- Lightweight but #stronglikemetal
- Cheaper than metal
- Easier to machine
- Better for the environment
So if you’re looking for material that reduces cost, lessens production time, and is sustainable—it’s basically a no brainer. Replacing metals with super polymers in additive manufacturing is still 100% worth it.
Material Solutions at Alchemy Industrial
We believe that additive manufacturing is 80% materials science tech. That’s why we offer customizable material solutions to help you find the right material for your prototyping needs. Our partnership with Roboze gives us access to the wide range of polymers that they offer. Whether you’re looking for high-precision material for applications for aerospace, motorsport, or oil and gas; we can find the material for you.
3 Technopolymers that are #Stronglikemetal:
1. Semi-crystalline technopolymers. Made up of two phases, this skein-like technopolymer is characterized by two temperatures: the Tg (glass transition temperature) and the Tm (melting temperature). Its properties give it:
- Better chemical and atmospheric resistance
- Better abrasion, stress and wear resistance
- Higher continuous operating temperature
- More elastic return after deformation
However, they are also characterized by:
- An absence of transparency
- Higher coefficient of linear thermal expansion and less dimensional stability
- More shrinkage during the cooling phase
- Greater dependence of elastic modulus on temperature
2. Amorphous technopolymers are characterized by:
- Low coefficient of linear thermal expansion
- Good dimensional stability
- Independence of the elastic modulus on temperature
However, unlike semi-crystalline materials, they are have:
- Less abrasion and wear resistance
- Limited resistance against chemical agents
- Less resistance against environmental agents
- Less stress resistance
3. Composite technopolymers. Known for mechanical resistance and thermal and electric properties, these lightweight super polymers are usually used to replace aluminum alloys. We offer various composites, including:
- Carbon PP
- Carbon PA
- Glass Pa
- Carbon PEEK
Interested in finding out more about our metal replacement material offerings? Contact us today.