FILAMENTI CARBON FIBER: TUTTO CIÒ CHE C’È DA SAPERE -3Digital

CARBON FIBER FILAMENTS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

From the light bulb to space rockets, Carbon Fiber filaments are taking over and replacing steel and metal parts in several industries. Why? Well, carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel and lighter at the same time. These characteristics make carbon fiber suitable for applications that depend on a material's properties to optimize performance, which is particularly desirable in automotive, military, aerospace and other similar industries.

What are Carbon Fiber filaments?

Carbon fiber was first discovered in 1860 by Sir Joseph Wilson Swan. Later, Thomas Edison used cellulose-based carbon fiber material in the first light bulbs that were heated by electricity. Its high heat resistance made it ideal electrical conductors. Although carbon fiber has been around for over 150 years, it was not until the late 1970s that new types of carbon fiber entered the global market. These newer fibers contain more than 90% carbon and have significantly increased strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios. Thanks to these modern advancements, as well as the reduction in manufacturing costs, we have been able to fully understand the potential of carbon fiber material.

As many of you probably already know, carbon fibers are rarely used alone. We usually find them combined with other materials to create a composite material; Carbon composites are usually composed (in addition to carbon fiber) of polymers. With this combination you get a stronger and lighter plastic with an increased level of rigidity.

3D printed models made with Carbon Fiber filament can be used to create many products, such as propeller blades, bicycle frames, aircraft wings, car components, etc.

Carbon Fiber filament is made up of carbon fibers, mixed with a thermoplastic called base material. There are many different filaments that can be purchased with carbon fiber parts, including PETG , PLA , ABS And nylon filament . These fibers alone are extremely strong, and when we mix them with the base material, we cause the filament to increase in stiffness and strength, while also reducing its overall weight.

The printing parameters of a 3D printer for Carbon Fiber filaments they should be similar to those of the base material to which the Carbon Fiber filaments have been added. Since Carbon Fiber filaments are abrasive and can clog 3D printer tips, we recommend using a hardened steel tip . Unfortunately, not all 3D printers can print with Carbon Fiber filaments because this material requires a high extrusion temperature (at least 230°C) and its abrasive nature can damage brass tips (which is why we recommended the steel tip). If you have an FDM printer like the Ender 3 V2 , don't worry, with the right modifications to the Ender 3 you can print from Carbon Fiber filament to Flexible filament. You just need to install the Micro Swiss direct drive extruder and use a steel tip.

Some companies have developed Carbon Fiber filaments in an even more technical direction. The base materials of such filaments are high performance polymers (HPP) such as PEEK. Carbon PEEK is a material with extraordinary characteristics in terms of thermal, mechanical and chemical resistance. This filament is used in very specific areas where further increase in mechanical performance is required for extraordinary performance.

Advantages

  • Good dimensional stability: The tensile strength of the filament contributes to greater dimensional stability, helping to avoid warping during 3D printing and shrinkage.
  • Rigidity: usually polymers with high strength and durability have a lack of rigidity. Carbon fiber does not have this problem, as it has the ability to maintain its shape under high stress. This feature is highly desired and used in the automotive industry (such as automotive brackets or inspection gauges).
  • Overall pleasant surface finish: the carbon fiber filaments have a nice matte finish. An extremely smooth surface finish allows for the printability of functional prototypes.
  • Strength and lightness: Formidable tensile strength and light weight make carbon fibers ideal for replacing metal parts. The low density is the reason it is so light. These features are particularly sought after in the robotics industry.
  • Thermal Deflection: when exposed to heat, other materials can deform under pressure or at elevated temperatures. The filament Carbon Fiber PAHT offers high thermal resistance (up to 160 degrees Celsius). Also the Carbon Fiber PET It can withstand higher temperatures up to 125 degrees Celsius. At the same time, it is very easy to print this filament.
  • Since it has outstanding mechanical properties , can be used for various holders, tools, composite molds for various manufacturing processes or for personal use.

Disadvantages

  • Abrasive filament which wears out the brass tips. We recommend using a steel tip. Carbon fiber parts do not melt, so be careful not to let the tip get clogged. You need to choose the correct tip.
  • Hygroscopicity: tendency to absorb moisture. It is very important to store your nylon carbon fiber filament spools in a protected environment, such as a mylar bag and a sealed place.
  • Costly: Due to carbon fiber's demanding manufacturing processes, the material is known to be more expensive than other filaments such as PLA or ABS. This is one of the reasons why it appears in high-end products but not in the mass market.
  • Fragile: the combination of polymer and carbon fiber increases the fragility of the material. The downside of high stiffness is that carbon fiber can shatter under high forces or pressures. This means that projects or objects exposed to such forces are not ideal for carbon fiber.

Where can you use Carbon Fiber filaments?

  • We can see carbon fiber used by high-performance race teams in Formula 1 .
  • The aerospace developments have shown that carbon fiber is a fantastic material for strengthening aircraft wings and bodies, and is even being tested for next-generation rockets. The lightness of the wings and bodies means that more fuel can be carried and longer distances can be reached.
  • In many sports disciplines like cycling and golf, speed and weight are very important, which is why companies have experimented with the use of carbon fiber composites to gain a competitive advantage.
  • The factories and other manufacturing facilities Robotics users are starting to use carbon fiber to produce tools that can withstand a high degree of force while taking up minimal lifting capacity of the robotic arm. It can be used for various holders, tools, composite molds for various manufacturing processes or even for personal use.

AzureFilm Carbon Fiber PAHT filament

Carbon Fiber PAHT filament is one of the most popular and easy to print polyamide (PA6) filaments that contain carbon fibers. The reason this material is durable, has excellent abrasion resistance, good fatigue resistance, good chemical resistance, high strength and high stiffness is because the filament itself already possesses the desirable properties. Most manufacturers choose shredded fibers as they are cheaper and easier to use.

AzureFilm, on the other hand, uses chopped fibers, which means the tensile strength is higher because the fibers are larger and the product bonds more. In addition to having excellent tensile and impact resistance, the Carbon Fiber PAHT filament allows short continuous use up to 160°C (maximum 200 hours). This filament is fully compatible with soluble media such as PVA , BVOH, PVOH and fully compatible with removable media such as HIPS. Its water absorption takes approximately 4 times longer to reach saturation point than unmodified PA6 and has a saturation point 5 times lower than conventional PA6 materials. The thickness of the fibers inside it varies from 0.4 mm to 0.6 mm, which is why we recommend using a tip with a diameter greater than 0.6 mm.

Requirements for working with Carbon Fiber PAHT filament:

  • Heated print bed
  • Hardened Tip – Due to its abrasive structure, the filament would quickly wear out the standard brass tip. An abrasion-resistant tip is required for this type of filament. Because these types of tips tend to be less conductive than standard tips, higher extruder temperatures are usually recommended.
  • Heated print chamber (optional) – Consistently storing filament in a dry, working temperature location is an option to ensure a consistently controlled environment for the best product quality.
  • Closed environment (optional) – Ensuring a constant controlled environment is a very important factor that allows for a better final class quality of the product, even if this filament has the ability to be 3D printed on machines without a heated chamber.

Printing recommendations:

  • Tip temperature: 270 – 290°C
  • Heated print bed: 90-120°C recommended
  • Printing speed: 40 – 60 mm/s
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Tip diameter: 0.6mm
  • Construction plan: blue adhesive tape , Kapton tape , glass plate + Dimafix spray

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AzureFilm Carbon Fiber PET filament

The other option that AzureFilm has prepared for you is the Carbon Fiber PET filament. This material is the simplest carbon fiber filament to print. Our Carbon Fiber PET filament has a structure reinforced with cut carbon fibers, making its impact resistance much stronger. This composite of chopped carbon fibers is pushing existing efforts and limits for the search for an engineering-grade 3D printing filament to new horizons. The filament has excellent mechanical properties without deformation, including high z-strength and low water absorbency. Our Carbon Fiber PET filament is filled with 15% carbon fiber and has a maximum short-term temperature (max. 3 hours) of up to 125°C. It can easily withstand 100°C for 10 hours or more. The thickness of the fibers inside it varies from 0.4 mm to 0.6 mm, which is why the diameter of the tip must be 0.6 mm.

Fiber reinforced materials offer exceptional mechanical properties. In addition to typical factors affecting composites, such as fiber volume and fiber orientation, the scientists found that printing parameters, such as tip type and speed, infill density, layer thickness, the temperature of the printing bed, the filling pattern, influence the mechanical properties.

Significant advantages of Carbon Fiber PET filament:

  • Economical: Because we use cut carbon fibers, there is a significant reduction in manufacturing length, which allows us to make our material economical for any customer.
  • Resistance to higher temperatures up to 125°C
  • Greater dimensional stability: The cut carbon fibers are extremely strong and not only give high strength and rigidity, but also help prevent shrinkage while the part cools.

Requirements for working with Carbon Fiber PET filament:

  • Heated print bed
  • Hardened Tip – Due to its abrasive structure, the filament would quickly wear out the standard brass tip. An abrasion resistant tip is required for this type of filament. Since these types of tips tend to be less conductive than standard tips, we suggest printing with a higher temperature extruder. With the steel tip, you can print Carbon Fiber PET filament even on a printer like the Ender. You just need to have a tip that doesn't clog (0.6mm) and can handle higher temperatures.
  • Heated print chamber (optional) – Consistently storing filament in a dry location is an option to ensure a consistently controlled environment for the best product quality.
  • We suggest using a closed environment/printer which provides a more stable environment, but it is not necessary.

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Printing recommendations:

  • Tip temperature: 245 – 270°C
  • Heated print bed: 80-90°C recommended
  • Printing speed: 40 – 60 mm/s
  • Layer height: 0.2mm
  • Tip diameter: 0.6mm
  • Construction plan: blue adhesive tape , Kapton tape , glass plate + Dimafix spray
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