Glassflake Additive Manufacturing

4th November 2020

The latest advancements in glass flake manufacturing and process make this material an ideal performance additive for 3D printed components. Additive manufacturing is a rapidly growing area, forecast to increase in value to $23.9 billion in 2022. This is driven by greater demand from consumers for tailored products on a mass scale, as the technology develops beyond its roots in prototyping. Current uptake is across many end applications, such as aerospace, automotive and healthcare.

Whether in fluid resin bed or filament based printer systems, we have an effective grade of Glassflake to suit the application. A high aspect ratio can be achieved with very fine particle size flakes which is due to our proprietary manufacturing technology producing extremely thin flakes. These fine particles sizes of, around 10-20 microns diameter, are critical in ensuring good resolution of print. We recommend that Glassflake grades such as GF001 or GF001-10 are used.
Additive Manfacturing Printer

The optical nature of this material as a glass, gives excellent transmission of UV radiation, commonly used as a curing mechanism for this manufacturing technology. In additive manufactured parts, Glassflake offers an excellent range of mechanical reinforcements. This is demonstrated both in related data in extruded composites, as well as in recent feedback from additive manufacturing partners. The length of the flake provides improvements in flexural strength, akin to glass fibres. However, the fibres are not suitable for these tight dimensional restrictions of this process. The high surface area of Glassflake gives excellent dimensional and thermal stability.

The suitability of Glassflake for surface coating or treatment allows a variety of effects to be achieved. For purely aesthetic effects, a titanium dioxide coating gives an interference effect with minimal effect on UV transmission. Conductive composites can be produced with the use of a silver coated Glassflake.


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