World safety certification firm, UL, has posted an independent study on the effects of additive manufacturing on polymer properties.
The outcome of the research has been utilized to create a framework to approve materials for safety-significant industrial pieces. The Illinois-located firm anticipates the framework will assist people and firms around the 3D printing supply chain in decreasing the risks connected with additive manufacturing earlier unapproved materials.
The results of the study have been used to develop a framework to qualify materials for safety-critical industrial components. The Illinois-based company hopes the framework will aid individuals and companies across the AM supply chain in decreasing the risks associated with 3D printing previously uncertified materials.
The independent research by UL explored the ignition, flammability and electrical attributes of polymer pieces manufactured by the use of additive manufacturing. These additively manufactured pieces were matched to equal pieces made by the use of conventional injection molding.
Also, the UL experts witnessed substantial variations in performance and safety around their comparisons. They resolved that performance ranks utilized with traditional manufacturing methods may be utilized when the same piece created from the corresponding material is additively manufactured.
The IL crew then when on to create a certification application for 3D printable polymers, the Blue Card. The information required for a producer to make sure the probity and efficiency of a 3D printable elements is offered is qualified by UL, getting a UL Recognized Component Mark.
A list of additive manufacturing material approved by UL may be found in UL’s publicly accessible database, Product iQ. Producers have the ability to search in the database any time to get approved 3D printable elements fit for their respective purposes.
Through the use of a trusted 3rd party tried and approved element, end-use piece manufacturers save on costs and time when certifying their end-use systems and products. Also, as Blue Cards are special to a 3D printer, device producers have the choice to approve a material for specific use on their own methods.
The white paper by UL, ‘Certifying plastics for 3D printing’, offers a summary of the study conclusions. The finer information of the independent research may be located in UL’s study paper, ‘‘Influence of 3D Printing on Safety-Critical Polymer Performance Properties’’.
Material approval is essential if a specific material is to be utilized for safety-vital industrial applications. This makes the procedure a focus for several organizations comprised in the AM supply chain internationally.
One such company is certification firm Element, who lately updated its lab in Huntington Beach, California with a committed characterization office, especially for AM powders.