REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — A rigid polyurethane material developed by digital manufacturing company Carbon is said to fill the need for a tough, rigid, and high- temperature additive manufacturing material that is suitable for rigorous applications in industries such as automotive. The new material, RPU 130, is partially derived from plants and is said to address the growing demand for more sustainable, high-performance materials.
Carbon said in a press release that it developed RPU 130 to address the unmet need for an additive material with superior impact resistance and dimensional stability at elevated temperatures. The material is reported to combine some of the best characteristics of Carbon’s RPU 70, FPU 50, and EPX 82 resins into a single, tough, heat- and impact-resistant material, similar to ABS, unfilled nylon, or polypropylene. According to Carbon, RPU is relevant to a wide range of industrial and consumer product applications, such as air ducts and brake caliper covers for vehicles; sunglasses; tool housings; and device enclosures, in addition to its automotive applications.
“RPU 130 represents a true breakthrough in what is possible for new additive materials,” said Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Carbon, in a press release. “Although some of these properties have been available before in additive, RPU 130 is the first to combine them all into a single manufacturing material suitable for the most demanding conditions. We are really proud of the science that went into bringing this innovative material to market.”
The RPU 130 material is the latest dual-cure engineering resin made exclusively for Carbon Digital Light Synthesis™ technology. Its combination of performance attributes makes the new material unique for additive manufacturing and more comparable to unfilled thermoplastics, the company said.
The production of RPU 130 required innovations in not only material science, but also software and hardware. In addition to the dual-cure resin, Carbon is offering a new heated C5 Cassette required for use with the material, a new dispensing product, and tuning via software to ensure great end-use products.
Carbon (https://www.carbon3d.com/) said that in addition to new hardware and software components, RPU 130 was made with environmentally sustainable raw materials. Carbon partnered with DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products to use Susterra® propanediol, a 100 percent bio-based building block that is reported to deliver high performance across a wide variety of polymers, coatings, and ink applications. Compared with conventional petroleum-based alternatives, Susterra propanediol is said to produce 48 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and use 46 percent less nonrenewable energy from cradle-to-gate. Nearly 30 percent of RPU 130 is composed of this plant-based material, the company said.
Going forward, Carbon said it is firmly committed to building on this work by continuing to expand efforts to achieve more sustainable practices through the use of advanced, high-performance, bio-based materials like Susterra propanediol.
“We are focused on ways to incorporate more sustainable approaches to developing materials, and our partnership with DuPont Tate & Lyle emphasizes that commitment,” said Jason Rolland, senior vice president of materials at Carbon. “We believe that sustainability can go hand-in-hand with improved performance. In the case of RPU 130, we believe it will make the material even more appealing for our customers, as it makes it possible to create better quality products that are also ultimately better for the environment.”