High performance polymers
High performance polymers
What are high performance polymers and plastics?
Polymers and plastics
Bond3D is a world class brand in high performance polymer 3D technology and provides a broad service in additive manufacturing solutions. Our game changing technology in 3D printing in combination with PEEK Polymers opens up a wide array of opportunities for our customers allowing for complex designs, improved functionalities and performance increases. Not just for prototyping or testing but to be used in functional applications. The combination of material and technology allow our customers to take a step ahead of competition, with strong and voidless 3D high performance printed products usable as functional parts.
Bond3D technology programs are focused to adapt the printing process to the material instead of manipulating the material to make it printable. As a result the inherent material characteristics are maintained by using the Bond3D technology.
Creating critical high performance parts made from high performance polymers
Creating critical high performance functional parts with additive manufacturing technology is a fast growing market but still limited by low strength in z-direction and voids. Bond3D as a pioneer in this market, has managed to maximize the possibilities of 3D printing with PEEK and optimize the process with a complete end-to-end solution by combining technology, material, and a skilled and dedicated team of specialists.
High performance polymers which are printed with the Bond3D technology leads to functional products retaining its native material properties. The Bond3D technology is capable of printing PEEK in a voidless way, which allows for leak tight applications such as fluid and gas manifolds.
How we adapted our technology to print high performance polymers
At Bond3D, we decided to follow the reverse strategy and adapt the process to the material, to preserve its favorable properties in printed products. In principle this could be any polymeric material, but we put the focus on high-performance polymers such as PEEK. Our ambition was to develop a printer that produces functional end parts, not just prototypes, with properties that approach bulk values, concerning yield strength, leak tightness and chemical resistance.
What are high performance polymers?
High-performance polymers such as aromatic polyimides, fluoropolymers, liquid crystalline polymers, polyaryletherketones, and sulfone polymers are widely used in automotive, aerospace, electric and electronic, industrial and medical applications that involve high temperature and extreme environment.
Even though they have a higher price compared to engineering plastics, they are chosen when their special features compensate for their cost. They are replacing conventional materials used in aerospace and automotive applications such as ceramics and metals mainly due to their lightness, high heat and oxidative resistance, chemical inertness, high dimensional stability and ability to maintain mechanical and physical properties over a wide temperature range.
In addition, these plastics can be easily molded complex geometries components, offering design flexibility to satisfy continuous demand for component miniaturization, functional integration, safety and esthetic features that lead to their use in the automotive and electric and electronic application. Continuous research and development on these plastics aim to reduce overall manufacturing cost and widen their range of applications.
What is the difference between high-performance polymers and plastics?
There are many names for the term high-performance plastics, such as: high temperature plastics, high performance polymers, high performance thermoplastics or high tech plastics. The term “polymers” is often used instead of “plastics” when referring to a high performance plastic. Performance plastics are often achieved by the addition of stabilizers and reinforcing materials such as glass and carbon fibers to increase the degree of polymerization.
Properties of high performance polymers
PEEK does not offer merely two or three properties that mark it as the polymer of choice when high performance is required; it has a whole variety of them.
High heat resistance
Tests have shown that VICTREX PEEK polymer has a continuous use temperature of 260°C (500°F). This can make it suitable for use in a wide range of thermally aggressive environments, such as those found in the process industries, in the oil and gas sector and inside the engines and transmissions of millions of vehicles. PEEK is able to tolerate friction and resist wear in dynamic applications like thrust washers and seal rings.
PEEK is able to resist the damage that can be inflicted in chemically aggressive operational environments, such as downhole in wells the oil & gas industry, in gears in machinery & automotive applications. It can resist jet fuel, hydraulic fluids, de-icers and insecticides used in the aerospace industry. This holds true over wide ranges of pressure, temperature and time.
PEEK demonstrates excellent strength and stiffness over a wide temperature range. PEEK-based carbon fibre composites have specific strength many times that of metals and alloys. “Creep” refers to a material becoming permanently deformed over an extended period of time when under constant applied stress. “Fatigue” refers to the brittle failure of a material under a repeated cyclic loading. PEEK has both high creep and fatigue resistance thanks to its semi-crystalline structure and has been shown to be more durable than many other polymers and some metals over a long and useful lifetime.
Difficult to ignite or burn
PEEK has excellent flammability performance and it resists combustion up to almost 600°C. When it can be made to burn at very high temperatures, it will not support combustion and it emits little smoke. This is one reason why PEEK is widely used in commercial aircraft.
Re-processable and recyclable
The PEEK molecule is very stable, so the polymer can be re-melted and reprocessed again and again with minimal change to its properties. This helps its environmental footprint and can ensure that waste material from manufacturing processes can be re-used economically.
An unique combination for high performance polymers
Victrex 450G PEEK is a high performance polymer certified for use in the medical, aerospace and food industry. Due to its excellent properties the material enables the development of light weight and strong products applicable in demanding environments.