3T launch new Flame Retardant material
3T RPD can now offer customers parts made in flame retardant nylon. The introduction of PA 2241 FR reflects the developing requirement of customers in a range of industries, including public transport, electrical and electronics and the construction sector for end use, production volume parts made via plastic Additive Manufacturing (AM).
The introduction of an FR option has attracted a range of new users to AM who are capitalising on the benefits of additive manufacturing such as the facility to reverse engineer legacy parts, the ability to manufacture components without tooling costs or delays whilst tools are created and the capacity to produce different design iterations rapidly.
PA 2241 FR is a flame retardant polyamide 12 used in laser sintering systems. It contains a halogen-based flame retardant. In the event of a fire, the inert gas – halogen – is released, which starves the flames of oxygen and so extinguishes them. Parts made with PA 2241 are particularly suited to applications that need to meet stringent safety standards as the flame retardant material has been tested to JAR/FAR 25 (aviation) for flammability and smoke generation and meets the required specification for toxic gas generation*.
In addition to its FR characteristics, PA 2241 FR has excellent mechanical properties and a good tensile strength. Customers from a range of sectors turn to additive manufacturing for a variety of reasons. In public transport uses, the ability to produce strong yet lightweight parts can lead to significant saving in fuel costs during the lifetime of the vehicle. Companies working on projects to refurbish public transport stock are making the most of the winning combination of rapidly producing fire safe plastic components for legacy parts where tooling has been lost or broken or where low volumes are required.
The new FR powder is recyclable which means that during AM production, the loose, unsintered powder which surrounds the finished parts can be extracted and mixed with virgin powder for future builds. This means 3T is able to offer flame retardant parts at cost-effective prices.
Ian Halliday, CEO of 3T RPD Ltd, explains: “Increasingly, customers are capitalising on additive manufacturing’s opportunities and seeing it as a technology for producing end use parts. Introducing fire safe materials to our portfolio will enable a whole new range of engineers to reconsider the way they design and produce components. Our FR parts are already being used by the transport industry for both aerospace and rail applications. In addition, we anticipate strong demand for end use FR parts from other industries including the electrical and electronics sector, marine and motor vehicle manufacturers and building and construction.”
Such is the anticipated demand for flame retardant plastic AM parts that 3T has a second FR nylon material (PA 2210 FR) in powder development should customers express an interest in a V0 rated material which is suitable for, for example, aeroplane cabin facing aviation applications.
Read the full technical specification here.
* = Flame retardant tests:
• Flammability according to JAR/FAR 25 App.F Part 1
• Smoke generation according to FAR 25 App.F Part V
• Toxic gas gereration according to AITM 3.0005
• For full specification here