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INNOVATION | 3D PRINTING


Right: 3DP chair designed by Michiel van der Kley in glass reinforced recycled PET


tiles for cyclist or pedestrian tunnels, architectural applications like cladding or partition walls, in- and outdoor furniture, small boats, packaging crates or tooling,” the company claims. Recycled polycarbonate is also being used in


3DP. Covestro says Polymaker, a leading manufac- turer of 3D printing materials, uses a recycled polycarbonate coming from used large water bottles to produce Polymaker PC-r filament. The bottles are made in China by Nongfu Spring, and are recovered and recycled (following multiple trips) through a partnership with recycling com- pany Ausell after use in offices, homes, and public spaces. Covestro blends the waste with virgin material and Polymaker extrudes the filaments. “The fact that the waste comes from one single


source is an advantage,” notes Covestro. “This means that no prior sorting and identification of the plastics is necessary. The plastic waste is quite pure and can be recycled in a cost-effective manner. In addition, it is available in sufficient quantities.” Shanghai-headquartered Intamsys, which makes 3DP equipment (and also provides a printing service), has tested Polymaker PC-r on its Funmat Pro 410 printer, which can achieve a dual jet temperature of up to 500°C and a platform temper- ature of up to 160°C. Covestro says the tests demonstrated that Polymaker PC-r is “extremely easy to process. The test scores show good values for tensile strength, Young’s modulus, flexural strength and flexural modulus, which were slightly higher than standard polycarbonate.” Compounding company Mocom points to a


Below: Arburg’s Freeformer 300-3X making two-component grippers for robotic systems


strong demand for technical semi-crystalline plastics for AM, which it says is currently extending beyond additive prototyping for smaller series. But prototypes made of semi-crystalline plastics are difficult to produce with low distortion in non-SLS- based processes, it says. It has developed Alcom 3D, a combination of PA6 and aromatic compo-


nents. It is characterised by a high semi-crystalline content as well as processability in additive manufacturing and injection moulding. The technical profile of Alcom 3D “is closest possible reflection of the properties of PA6,” says Mocom. It was designed for Arburg, which produces not only injection moulding machines but also the Freeformer 3DP equipment series. On the Freeformer, the material can be used for the production of technical components, including those subject to alternating bending loads, such as snap hooks. “To produce parts with complex geometries, the Alcom 3D can be processed on the Freeformer together with a water-soluble support material from Arburg,” Mocom says. “During the mechanical testing of the Alcom 3D it became clear that even relatively strong mechanical impact did not lead to the defect or warpage of the component, which had previously been a problem for the customer. It enables the production of components with near-series properties.” The advantages of Arburg Plastic Freeforming (APF) in the AM world are many, including the robustness of the process and its ability to use materials identical to those used in injection moulding. Arburg recently added another ma- chine, the Freeformer 300-3X which can combine two materials in a single resilient component. “Injection moulded two-component parts are


generally in great demand for the large-scale production of items such as razors, toothbrushes and tools that are pleasing to the touch,” says Arburg. “The Freeformer 300-3X with three discharge units enables the industrial additive production of complex functional components from original material in a resilient hard/soft combination with support structure. This is of


34 INJECTION WORLD | June 2021 www.injectionworld.com


IMAGE: ARBURG


IMAGE: COVESTRO


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