Shanghai-based Polymaker, which won 3D Printing Industry’s 2017 Materials Company of the Year award, developed the U1000 and U0174D materials using Covestro’s thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) resins. Both have been launched as part of the “Polymaker Industrial” range of high-performance materials.
Balancing toughness and flexibility
The U1000 material has a high Young’s modulus, giving it a similar stiffness to glassy polymers such as such as PC or PS. U0174D is a more ductile material with a high fracture toughness. Its surface characteristics are similar to semi-crystalline plastics such as PPL.
While the materials are both TPUs, they do not have the conventional soft and rubbery characteristics of this polymer. Instead, they bear the qualities of engineering plastics, which are used to produce durable parts such as tools, molds, jigs, fixtures and structural components.
Polymaker introduced both materials to meet what it describes as the “increasing…demand” for 3D printed end-use parts in general manufacturing, medicine, automotive, aerospace and other industries.
3D printing under the mildest of conditions
Polymaker states that its two new materials are tailored to deliver effective mechanical strength, layer adhesion, and heat resistance.
The company also states that the U1000 and U0174D can be used to 3D print objects “under mild conditions on almost any thermoplastic-extrusion based 3D printer.”
“Polyurethane is an incredibly versatile chemistry that can be used to create almost endless possibilities in materials,” said Yvonne Wang, Business Development Manager for Additive Manufacturing at Covestro.
Echoing this, Polymaker president Dr Xiaofan Luo said that the new materials “will certainly enable lots of new applications and open opportunities in a variety of industries.”
A productive partnership
Polymaker’s PC-Plus and PC-Max 3D printing filaments were both also produced using Covestro’s resin.
The PC-Max filaments have found end-use applications in drones, tooling, fixtures and the medical industry.
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Featured image shows objects 3D printed using U1000 and U0174D. Photo via Polymaker.