Compared to other 3D printing methods for plastics, a powder-based method is easily one of the most versatile. There is a wide variety of plastic materials that can be made into powder including silicates or polystyrene, which are generally not available in filament form. Since plastic does not require a lot of energy to melt, the 3D printing technology for plastic powder does not need as much diversity.
PA 12 (also known as Nylon 12) is a good general-use plastic with broad additive applications and is known for its toughness, tensile strength, impact strength and ability to flex without fracture. PA 12 has long been used by injection molders due to these mechanical properties. And more recently, PA 12 has been adopted as a common material in additive manufacturing processes for creating functional parts and prototypes. If you’re considering converting metal parts to plastic, be sure to first evaluate the operating conditions, loading cases, acceptable creep/fatigue levels and specifications surrounding chemical and UV resistance. It’s used in fused deposition modeling (FDM) as a filament, and in binder-jetting processes, such as Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), as a powder.
Polyamides or nylons are among the most important technical thermoplastics. Ensinger offers glass filled nylons to meet the specific needs of the different areas of application. The main characteristics of glass filled nylons are very high rigidity, high mechanical strength, a high degree of hardness and toughness, as well as high creep strength. They also have very high dimensional stability, good fatigue strength and high mechanical damping properties. All these properties make this material suitable for use in parts which are exposed to high static loads over long periods in high temperature conditions. As glass fibres tend, in some cases, to have a considerable abrasive effect on mating surfaces, these glass fibre reinforced materials are less suitable for sliding applications.
Polyamide 11 or nylon 11 is a semi-crystalline aliphatic polyamide with a very high chemical resistance. It has relatively little amide groups in the chain compared to the most common nylons ( PA6 and PA66), therefore, the moisture absorption is low. This means that the mechanical properties and dimensions are not influenced much by the environment it is used in.PA11 is produced from a renewable resource: castor oil. It can be used at a wide temperature range, and remains ductile down to very low temperatures (-40 °C or even lower). Due to the relatively high price PA11 is mainly used in applications where the excellent chemical resistance to hydrocarbons and low permeability, and/or the low temperature ductility are vital, such as in the oil and gas industry and in the automotive industry.