RTP Co. is introducing carbon nanotube compounds (CNT) in several different resin systems for improved electrical performance. In situations where engineers typically used carbon fiber reinforcements, carbon nanotubes provide much better electrical performance,” says Ned Bryant, senior product development engineer for RTP, which is based in Winona, MN. The first resin systems offered with the new technology are polycarbonate, polyetherimide and polyetheretherketone. Coming next are PC/ABS, nylon 66 and nylon 12. The nylons will be aimed at automotive components, such as fuel filler doors, where the conductive materials allow superior painting processes. Electrostatic painting is about 80 per cent efficient, while spray painting is only about 12 percent efficient. CNT compounds also process better, avoiding isotropic effects of fibers.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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