Additives like minerals or fibers (carbon fiber) are added to nylon to change its material properties and in some cases to make the material better suited for specific applications. Adding minerals or fibers can improve characteristics like stiffness, strength, hardness, HDT (heat deflection temperature) and chemical compatibility. Additives can also add material capabilities or functionality (like ESD, Electrostatic discharge) that would otherwise not be present in the material. In this case, the addition of mineral content has made the nylon stronger, stiffer and harder but also more lubricious and smooth. An example of a lubricious material/surface would be DELRIN, these surfaces are good for sliding or bearing because the material has a low coefficient of friction. Because of the lubriciousness and toughness of Diran it is perfectly suited for tooling applications needing a non-marring interface between the tool and the work piece.
One thing to note because of these additives the material is now more anisotropic in its material properties. This means that it has different values of material properties in different directions. Due to this material characteristic, you will note that there are typically two values for most material properties such as TENSILE strength and FLEXURAL strength. One value for directions in the XY plane and one for directions in the Z axis. All FDM printed materials should be considered anisotropic due to the layers which also create different strengths for directions in Z versus the XY plane
Diran has the following material properties:
- Good strength
- Superior bending toughness
- Great impact strength
- Chemical resistance
- Moderate temperature resistance
Below we will explore each of these material properties.
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Material property – Strength
The addition of minerals to Diran has increased the overall strength when compared to pure Nylon12. To gauge the material strength, we will look at tensile strength material property which is defined as ‘a materials ability to resist being pulled apart’. These properties are tested as shown in Figure 1 and as mentioned earlier due to the anisotropic nature of this composite material it is required to be characterized in the XY plane as well as the z direction.
Looking at table 1 (below) we can see that the tensile strength for Diran is now approximately 1.5 times greater than unfilled Nylon 12 but not as strong as nylon with carbon fiber. Carbon fiber in nylon makes it stronger than Diran but mineral content in the Diran makes it more lubricious (lower coefficient of friction) than Nylon12 CF.
When comparing the strength of Diran and NylonCF between the XY plane and z axis the anisotopic influence of the carbon fiber or mineral additives can be seen as the material has more strength in the XY directions as it does in the Z direction.
|MATERIAL||XY TENSILE (psi)||Z TENSILE (psi)|
Table 1: material property comparison
We can see that the strength of Diran, Nylon 12, and Nylon 12CF are essentially the same in the z direction as the fibers and minerals do not link across layers but only through the layers. Because there is no cross layer linking the additives only help in the XY plane and the limiting constraint on the strength in the Z direction is the layer to layer adhesion of the material. We can see that the layer to layer adhesion of ULTEM is slightly better than nylon.
Material property — bending toughness
Diran has an elongation at break of 12%, this is an indicator that this material has good flexibility and toughness. It expresses the capability of a material to resist changes of shape without crack formation, which means Diran can flex a bit before it will break compared to other material with lower values. We can see nylons have excellent flexibility but as additives are added it increases the stiffness at the cost of flexibility. This can be seen in the Nylon 12CF which is now not nearly as tough from a flexibility standpoint (more brittle) and only has an elongation at break of 1.9%, this is because the carbon fibers have made the material much stiffer and stronger at the cost of flexibility. This material is not able to deal with bending as well now (more likely to crack), however, it is now stronger (stiffer) so it won’t bend as much under the same load.
- TPU92A = 550%
- NYLON 12 = 30%
- DIRAN = 12%
- PC = 4.8%
- NYLON12CF = 1.9%
You can see above because TPU is like a rubber it has amazing bending toughness in dealing with bending compared to a material like PC or Nylon 12CF. This can be seen when you compare bending TPU to PC, PC will crack and break under very little deflection compared to something like TPU. Nylon 12 at 30% has excellent bending toughness, Diran at 12% has good bending toughness.
Material property — Impact Strength
The IZOD Notched impact test measures the capability of the material to withstand a suddenly applied load (impact) without cracking or permanent deformation. Tough materials like Diran typically have good impact strength, as can be seen below the addition of the mineral content in Diran has given the material the ability to withstand more than double the impact energy of plain nylon. This is especially important for tooling applications where the tools are subject to impacts during forming.
- DIRAN = 380 J/m
- NYLON12 = 150 J/m
Material property — chemical resistance
Nylons typically have good chemical resistance to most moderate solvents, alcohols and chemicals. Diran has been tested and is good to use with hydrocarbon based chemicals. There is no published chemical compatibility data yet, however, when using Diran or any material exposed to chemicals contact and exposure testing should be done to verify any interactions or suitability.
Material property — temperature resistance
Diran has an HDT (heat deflection temperature) of 90°C (194F). The heat deflection temperature is the temperature when deformation will begin under load so in most cases your application will need to stay under this temperature. The HDT for iran is better than annealed Nylon12 and not as good as Nylon12 CF, as can be seen in the values the addition of glass fibers and mineral content makes the HDT of the material higher.
- NYLON 12 = 55°C
- NYLON 12 annealed = 82°C
- DIRAN = 90°C
- NYLON12CF = 143°C
Any part that could be used in an environment where the temperature could approach the HDT should be thermally verified, also bearings or surfaces that are exposed to friction that could generate high temperature should be verified as well.
Ultimately Diran is a strong, very tough nylon with a lubricious surface and good chemical/heat resistance. This material is great for jigs, fixtures and other forms of general manufacturing tooling. A couple of examples are shown below:
Used in automotive assembly, this locator block was 3D printed using Diran™ 410MF07
- Build Time = 38min
- Model material Used = 1.038 in^3
- Support material used = 0.119 in^3
This robot end effector was 3D printed using Diran™ 410MF07
- Build Time = 10hr 53min
- Model material Used = 14.285 in^3
- Support material used = 3.314 in^3
Diran™ 410MF07: Tough for Tooling Webinar
Since the implementation of 3D printing in manufacturing, there has been an increasing need for an advanced tooling solution that can withstand the rigorous demands of the factory floor without damaging parts. Learn how Diran™ 410MF07 can help produce jigs, fixtures and other manufacturing aids that supply the strength, flexibility and low-surface friction that manufacturers need. Sign up for this webinar on-demand.