TPE

TPE Filament

Thermoplastic elastomer

Processing parameters:

Extrusion temperature: 240 °C
Print bed temperature: 60 °C
Print bed material: Scotch Blue Tape, Kapton (large distance to the Z-direction)

Since TPE is much more flexible than other plastics used in 3D printing, there are a number of technical requirements with respect to the machine and process parameters to ensure a stable process. The filament duct starting at the motor to the hot end must stabilize the filament over the entire area. Even small, non-stabilized areas cause the filament to buckle and become clogged. The filament reacts very slowly to sudden changes in the feed, therefore its recommended to select a low printing speed. Since TPE tends to pull fine threads after the nozzle has been removed, the empty run speed should be set high. It is also helpful to choose a slightly higher retract setting in the slicer.

Since TPE is a very hygroscopic material, the pre-drying of the material is essential for the production of stable components.

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Post-Processing

Due to its excellent resistance to scratches and cuts, it is also difficult to machine TPE. TPE can be glued with cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). In order to screw TPE components, inserts made of a more rigid material, for example ABS, should be inserted into the component at the same time by two-component printing or glued in afterwards.

Solubility / resistance

TPE is resistant to greases, oils, aqueous solutions and most solvents. Not resistant to acids and alcohols.

Applications

Due to its high flexibility and outstanding tensile strength, TPE is often used for the production of precisely fitting three-dimensional seals or precisely fitting damping and cushioning elements. In addition, TPE has excellent tensile strength, which makes it suitable as a material for flexible joints and connections. TPE is also often used in the sports industry to manufacture protectors or fitness wristbands because the plastic is dermatologically harmless.

Like most plastics, TPE has a low thermal conductivity Thats why it is not suitable for applications with high-frequency cyclic loads such as wheels or timing belts.

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