Graphene is more than 100 times stronger than the strongest steel, it is capable of conducting heat and electricity and it is virtually transparent. The number of applications for a material like this is limitless, and it is already being used to make the next generation of smart phones, solar panels and batteries. Graphene’s strength and conductive properties have made it a highly desirable additive for new, industrial quality 3D printing filaments. As the material, comprised of carbon atoms a single layer thick arranged in a honeycomb pattern, becomes easier to produce, the list of products made with the revolutionary material is going to continue to grow, as will the graphene market.
Italian graphene materials manufacturer Directa Plus just announced the launch of a new graphene-based 3D printing material called GRAFYLON 3D. The new product is the result of a collaboration with filament manufacturer FILOALFA, which is now selling the material online and through their retail partners. According to Directa Plus, GRAFYLON 3D is the first commercial 3D printing product to contain their G+ (Graphene Plus) line of graphene powders. The polylactic acid (PLA)-based filament will maintain the ease of use and versatility of standard PLA while significantly improving on the material’s durability and conductive properties.
“We are delighted to launch GRAFYLON 3D, in collaboration with FILOALFA, which is our first product in the 3D printing market. Our new filaments provide advantages over non-graphene-based filaments that open up new areas of application for 3D printing based on the incredible properties, such as conductivity and material strength. We believe they can revolutionise industry standards in the 3D printing field. Our collaboration with FILOALFA to bring another product to the market for commercial sale is further vindication of our stated strategy of developing solutions in conjunction with strategic partners.” explained Directa Plus CEO Giulio Cesareo.
While developing GRAFYLON 3D, the goal of Directa Plus and FILOALFA parent company Ciceri de Mondel was to find the correct ratio of PLA and graphene that would result in an affordable filament that included the noticeable benefits of both graphene and PLA. During the materials testing phase, a significant number of performance improvements in comparison to non-graphene-based 3D filaments were observed. The filament’s elastic modulus, or the amount of force needed to deform the material, was improved by as much as 34%. The tensile strength of the material was improved by 23%, while elongation properties were 28% higher. GRAFYLON 3D also showed a significant improvement in thermal conductive properties and has an excellent surface finish with a very unique surface texture.
“Not only does FILOALFA bring significant know-how in the production of 3D printing filaments, but they also share some of our core values: in particular, our focus on health, safety and environmental protection. Our Graphene Plus is produced from a chemical-free process that has been independently certified as non-toxic and non-cytotoxic. We look forward to working with FILOALFA and enabling them to further differentiate their filaments through the incorporation of our graphene-based products,” Cesareo continued.
The Lomazzo, Italy-based company has been developing graphene materials for industrial applications since 2005 and has patented several processes for their production. Directa Plus’ first commercial material is G+ graphene, which was developed as an additive to enhance other materials in products as diverse as smart textiles, tires, composites and a material that will aid in the cleanup of oil spills. RAFYLON 3D is the first material co-developed with Ciceri de Mondel and their FILOALFA brand of 3D printing filaments.
“GRAFYLON 3D is only the first of a new generation of filaments containing graphene developed with Directa Plus. We are working with Directa to produce graphene-based products to be used with other polymeric bases for our filaments, and look forward to bringing to the market further products with unique properties that will differentiate them from competing solutions,” said FILOALFA R&D manager, Antonio Berera.
The new GRAFYLON 3D filament is now available for purchase directly from FILOALFA, or from any of their dealers and resale partners. It is available as a 700 gram spool of 1.75mm filament for €39 (about $44) or a 250 gram spool for €19 ($21). Discuss further in the Directa Plus 3D Printing Filament forum over at 3DPB.com.