Materials manufacturer Taulman 3D has announced the availability of Alloy 910, its latest in a line of high performance FDM filaments.
Testing began in early 2014 with a release to over 20 industrial testers and six members of the 3D printing community. The industrial testers wanted a new polymer and nothing met their specs. They originally liked the early version of 910's elongation and bend, but not its tensile strength.
"It was chemically similar to some of our other polymers. We tried a copolymer with 910 Rev 'B' in an attempt to bump up tensile. While it did increase tensile it was not enough. At the same time we were working on some other polymers and noted that there were some similarities and features we wanted in 910," said Tom Martzall, Taulman 3D founder.
Taulman eventually determined that a chemical variant was possible, but the company's chemical provider didn't have enough raw materials on hand and an experimental test batch didn't warrant an entire production order from scratch. So, the formula for 910 Rev "C" sat on the shelf until January, 2015, when Taulman was informed the chemicals required for a test batch were available due to excess from other jobs.
The people at Taulman were thrilled with the Rev "C" results.
"It exceeded our initial spec of 6,800 PSI all the way to 8,100 PSI and 32% elongation at break," said Martzall. "The whole time we were printing lab test samples we were just amazed as to how hard the material was. People were dropping parts and watching them bounce around like parts from PLA, yet you couldn't break them."
Taulman had invented a new material with a combined tensile strength higher than the strongest copolyesters, the durability of nylons, a shrinkage factor rivaling Taulman's t-glase, a wide variety of chemical resistance and a 95°C working range. Perhaps just as important, it could be printed at 245°C, just a slightly higher temperature than typical ABS.
With internal testing done, it was time to send Rev "C" back to the beta testers. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
According to Martzall, "about 46 or so were sent out all over and the response was the same. 'How did you do that?'"
Bulk production ensued and Alloy 910 was finally released at last week's annual Midwest RepRap Festival held by SeeMeCNC, where hundreds of sample loops were given to attendees and parts printed in the new material were on display. Early adopter industrial customers have been using it successfully for several weeks.
Taulman Alloy 910 is available in one pound spools at 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters.