‘Tough Black’ – it’s new, it’s tough, it’s black
3T is expanding its portfolio of products by launching the new PA 1102, black material – PA11 ‘Tough Black’. The launch represents two significant opportunities for 3T’s customers; this is 3T’s first Polyamide 11 material and it is the first time an EOS “mass coloured” black material has been available via an Additive Manufacturing service provider.
PA 11 offers different mechanical properties to its better known PA 12 stablemate. Made from a renewable resource, castor beans, it is a more flexible product making it particularly suited to production of end use parts requiring flex or which have living hinges, clips, latches or other closures. Parts which are in situations of heavy use will benefit from being produced in PA 11 ‘Tough Black’ as the resulting part will be tougher and will wear better, will be more resilient and less likely to shatter or split.
The new ‘Tough Black’ powder is “mass coloured” which means that each particle of the nylon powder is solid black. Previous options to produce a black part involved either a white powder with an added black colouring pigment or a white part with a black surface finish applied during a post-production process. Parts produced by 3T in ‘Tough Black’ are solid black – the parts have a consistent, truly black appearance rather than the ‘anthracite black’ appearance available with previous products. Even if a part is cut in the middle it will still be black!
3T has been EOS’s material development pilot customer and has worked closely with them to refine the parameters for production ensuring that the new powder builds consistently and that repeatability of end parts can be guaranteed. Speaking about the new powder, 3T’s Head of R+D, Dr Mark Beard said: “The addition of PA 1102 black to our portfolio will be relevant for a wide range of customers and specifically those looking for a ‘Tough Black’ without the inconsistency or bloom that has been a feature of parts produced with filled powders or surface coloured parts. It will offer a real alternative to those customers wanting end-use production parts for use in environments where enhanced mechanical properties are valued such as parts that are regularly handled or knocked.”
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