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People of 3D Printing

Carbon fiber plastic: Discover Ultrasint® PA11 CF

Introduction

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, or Fiber Reinforced Plastic is a reinforced plastic containing carbon fiber. This material has the particularity of being extremely strong and used in several sectors from aerospace to consumer applications. With the development of high-performance materials for 3D printing, it is now possible to use carbon-filled material for your additive manufacturing projects. 

Let’s focus on carbon fiber plastic and discover the most interesting option.

What is a carbon-fiber plastic?

Why are these reinforced plastics interesting? 

Carbon-fiber plastics are engineering plastics, reinforced with carbon fibers, and present advanced properties. It follows the same logic as glass-filled materials reinforced with glass fibers. Industries are always looking for the most lightweight but robust materials. Using fiber reinforcement is an efficient solution to enhance plastics’ stiffness and strength while maintaining its lightweight.

Since these are artificially composited materials their properties and performance can be tailored to the application through varying strength, length, directionality, and amount of the reinforcing fibers in the selection of the polymer matrix. The main benefits of these materials are stiffness and really high strength-to-weight ratio.

What are the applications?

With these advanced properties implying high rigidity and high strength-to-weight ratio, carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers are used for demanding applications. Due to their high modulus of elasticity, carbon fibers materials are ideal for applications in which rigidity is the predominant requirement. This is implying engineering, automotive, or even aerospace sectors.

We can also notice that these polymers are gaining popularity in the luxury and sports segment for mass reduction.

Carbon-fiber plastic and additive manufacturing

Yes, it is possible to make the best of both worlds by 3D printing with Carbon-Fiber plastics. Until quite recently, injection molding was still the main technique to manufacture Carbon-reinforced polymer. The possibility to use a carbon-filled material came with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF/FDM 3D printing technology) with materials such as PEEK CF. 

The additive manufacturing industry is evolving fast and developing more and more 3D printing materials adapted to the needs and requirement of demanding industries. We call these materials high-performance materials. Usually used with traditional manufacturing techniques, they can now be used with additive manufacturing. That’s not it: carbon-filled plastic is one of the new high performance materials available on Sculpteo’s online 3D printing service! Start combining the advantages of additive manufacturing and carbon-filled material to explore new opportunities. Discover Ultrasint® PA11 CF.

Focus on Ultrasint® PA11 CF

Ultrasint® PA11 CF is printed using a Powder Bed Fusion technology called Selective Laser Sintering, or SLS. Nylon PA11 is a bio-derived powder material for advanced applications, this material is based on 100% renewable biomass sources: castor seed is extracted from castor plant to make oil. This oil is then converted into the monomer (11-aminoundecanoic acid), which is finally polymerized into Polyamide 11.

Ultrasint® PA11 CF is one of the strongest materials in the 3D printing industry, combining high ductility and impact performance as well as really high rigidity. It is offering a well-balanced mechanical property profile, maintaining high ductility and impact performance.

This 3D printing material is carbon-fiber-reinforced, providing advanced mechanical performance for your parts when strength and rigidity are needed. Ultrasint® PA11 CF offers exceptionally high rigidity for the highest performance requirements and lightweight designs. This lightweight is important to notice: this material allows 3D printing of lightweight designs by reducing wall thicknesses, thanks to its high rigidity.

Here are the main advantages of this material:

  • High strength-to-weight ratio

This PA11 material offers an impressive impact resistance, making its use relevant for various demanding industries and applications, and can be a good option for drone manufacturing: producing the drone parts with Ultrasint® PA11 CF ensures solidity with a perfectly optimized weight!

  • High rigidity

With a Young’s modulus of 4500 MPa, Ultrasint® PA11 is a very rigid material thanks to its carbon-fiber reinforcement, which makes it a perfect option for applications where rigidity really matters. It is possible to 3D print Ultrasint® PA11 to manufacture metal replacement parts.

  • Excellent impact resistance

The Charpy impact unnotched is 63 kJ/m2 which makes Ultrasint® PA11 CF the perfect choice for lightweight designs without compromising a part’s functionality. This can be interesting to manufacture some motorsport parts for example.

Do you want to try this impressively resistant 3D printing material for your next project? You can directly upload your 3D file on our website, or contact our team to get more information about this material or get any help for your project.

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