A joint development agreement between Terrafilum and XG Sciences seeks to produce graphene-enhanced filament and coatings. Carbon fiber is a popular additive in materials to make them extra rigid and light, but graphene, which is made of carbon, is 20 times stronger than carbon fiber so it’s no wonder there are efforts to use it to reinforce 3D printing materials.
Graphene is the strongest material yet to be discovered. What makes graphene so strong is its configuration: a honeycomb lattice of carbon molecules in the form of a sheet that’s one atom thick. It’s harder than diamond and more conductive than copper. With 3D printing accounting for a growing share of industrial and manufacturing processes, a swath of industries would jump at the chance to use graphene-strengthened materials. 3D printed components for aerospace applications that use PEEK and Ultem would be made to be lighter and stiffer with graphene. Manufacturing jigs and fixtures would be more wear-resistant. And micro filters would have longer lifespans.
Terrafilum specializes in developing and producing eco-friendly and engineered 3D printing materials while XG Sciences is a manufacturer of graphene nanoplatelets and advanced materials so their joint development agreement is a match made in heaven.
The full potential for 3D printing is starting to be unlocked. The addition of XG’s graphene formulations into our eco-friendly filaments will transform products allowing a greater variety of parts to be created at faster production rates using less energy. Chris Jackson, President of Terrafilum
Improve Filament Extrusion Z-Strength
Graphene could help address the Z-axis weakness that plagues filament extrusion prints as well, and high conductivity could enable a whole host of electronics applications. Additionally, graphene nanoplatelets imbue parts with thermal conductivity and lubricity, useful traits on the factory floor.
Still, what most users will be interested in is raw strength as Dr. Leroy Magwood, Chief Technologist for XG Sciences, explains, “Marrying together well-established 3D printing technologies with our graphene-enhanced formulations makes the material difference in resolving the two most limiting factors in 3D-printed parts, product strength and processing speeds.”