The physical properties of 3D printed PTFE parts are comparable to those of conventionally produced parts. Both our material formulation and post-processing steps are optimized to produce parts that meet your most stringent specifications. Keep reading to see how the properties of 3D printed PTFE parts compare against traditional CNC machined components.
Density is a critical property of PTFE. Density data allow for conclusions about processing conditions, like cooling rate after sintering, and about certain properties, like flex life or permeability – all of which affect the quality of a PTFE part.
To test how 3D printing might affect part density, 3M printed a variety of PTFE parts up to approximately 1.4 mm thickness. Test results on the samples produced show density values of 2.12 to 2.17g/cm³ which is within the typical range of conventionally processed material. Parts were also utilized using a scanning electron microscope, and compared with similar parts produced by machining. As you can see, the results are similar in both the printed and machined cross-section.
*Density measurements were performed by the displacement method referring to ASTM D792-13.
Cross section of a 3D printed PTFE part (freeze fractured).
Cross section of a machined PTFE part (freeze fractured).
Tensile specimen based on ASTM D1708 (thickness: 1.5 mm) tested at 12.7 mm per minute extension at room temperature.
3M’s unique 3D printing process for PTFE is based on vat polymerization technology, which offers high dimensional resolution. This allows the creation of fine features (e.g. wall thickness as thin as .2 mm in part resolution for simple, symmetric geometries. If your part requires a high level of detail or miniaturized features, it may be an excellent candidate for 3D printing.
Top view of a small printed PTFE cogwheel, produced at 3M laboratories.
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