Nylon PA 12 for 3D printing

Nylon PA 12 Stampa 3D

Nylon PA 12 for 3D printing

Why use Nylon PA12? Nylon PA12 is a technopolymer, one of the most commonly used materials for 3D printing. Its main characteristic is its impact and chemical resistance to wear and tear, oils, greases, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and alkalis. Depending on the technology used to print, there are two ways to use it: in filament for FDM technology and powder if you have MJF or SLS technology. The choice of this type of material is no coincidence, as numerous applications over the years have highlighted the various advantages that can be achieved with Nylon PA12, including:

  • It is very resistant to high temperatures and mechanical stresses involving the three axes;
  • It is more elastic than many other materials, so it is better able to resist not only ageing but also loads, which can be static or dynamic;
  • The surfaces possess a high degree of definition;
  • So-called post-finishing work can be done without problems, including polishing, staining and painting.

What is Nylon 12 used for?

Nylon PA12 is a material that is not only used for 3D printing but is also exploited for numerous applications, especially in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. One example is the production of sterilised pouches, which are ideal for packaging: this type of nylon is solid, flexible, and impermeable to aromas and water vapour. It can, therefore, isolate the product from the outside world while preventing damage. In the food industry, it is used together with polyethylene film to preserve different types of food. However, there are countless applications: in the automotive industry, it is exploited to produce tubes that are resistant to petrol oil, while in the field of electronics, Nylon PA12 is used to coat cables, as it is an excellent insulating material. Other uses include the textile industry and skin and body creams.

PA12 (Polyamide 12, Nylon 12)

The chemical formula of Nylon PA12 is [(CH2)11C(O)NH]n. It is a polyamide, a polymeric compound characterised by several amide groups. It is a material with numerous qualities: it is an excellent electrical insulator, it is not very sensitive to moisture, it has a reasonable degree of resistance to various chemicals, it has a relatively low melting point and density compared to similar substances, and it can undergo multiple modifications if one decides to use specific reinforcements, such as plasticisers.

What are the characteristics of nylon 12?

Nylon PA12 has the ideal characteristics for improving production processes for various products: it is widely used in companies, making it possible to obtain it in different ways. The possibility of using this material makes it possible to make an excellent choice regardless of the level and relative fluctuations of humidity present in the environment in which the product is to be used: Nylon PA12 absorbs shallow degrees of humidity, which is why the dimensional stability of manufactured products can be effectively maintained. In addition, another of its properties is resistance, not only to temperature but also to shocks and impacts: durability is guaranteed even in near-freezing conditions. Over the years, more and more people have become aware of the potential of this polyamide, which is also used to produce chemicals. By now, Nylon PA12 has become a significant player in numerous production processes: thanks to its flexibility, it is very workable, depending on the specific requirements to be met, and can reduce vibrations and noise.

Why choose Nylon PA12 in 3D printing?

Advantages of Nylon 12
Nylon PA12 is a polyamide with wide application in various production processes because its use enables numerous advantages. These include:

  • The dimensional stability that all products made from Nylon PA12 present. The level of moisture absorption is shallow compared to many other materials, and this allows the manufactured items to resist very well in any environment, no matter how humid it is;
  • The manufactured objects are very resistant, regardless of the temperature of the environment where they are placed. This characteristic does not change even if the temperatures are prohibitive and drop below zero;
  • The remarkable abrasion resistance against various chemicals, including salt water and different types of solvents;
  • The reduction of vibration and noise levels;
  • Not only is it very workable, but it also withstands very well the fatigue that can arise in those production cycles characterised by persistent loads;
  • The coefficient of friction is very low compared to many other similar materials. This value provides several advantages in dry machining against polyacetate and steel.

Use in 3D printing

Being a polyamide that is very resistant to high and low temperatures, the action of chemicals and abrasion, not to mention its remarkable elasticity, Nylon PA12 is a material widely used in 3D printing. In particular, it is used to manufacture mechanical elements such as guides and gear wheels or technical elements such as slide bearings and data. Other examples are those related to plastic models (buildings and interiors, landscaping projects), decorations (not only for simple figures, as sculptures and bas-reliefs can be reproduced), models (for which small dimensions may be required, making a high level of precision and attention to detail necessary) and prototypes (concept and small demonstration elements). Other applications include producing machinery rubber components such as gaskets and various gadgets and connecting elements such as elastic hinges, toys, and jewellery.

For your online 3D printing, turn to FAMA.

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