3D printing in TPE

TPE is a  thermoplastic material with rubber-like characteristics. Parts that are 3D printed in TPE are highly durable with great chemical, heat and tear resistance.

tpe-3d-printing-duraform

About TPE

TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) is a highly durable polymer that combines both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. What makes this material so attractive for manufacturers is its ability to return to its original shape without damage after being moderately stretched. That is only possible due to its rubber-like characteristics, which also make 3D printing in TPE the ideal choice for applications that need to be resistant to impact and vibration.

Besides, TPEs exhibit great chemical stability, and resistance to abrasion, fatigue and tear. These unique material properties and benefits are one of the reasons why 3D printing in TPE is becoming more popular and even replacing traditional rubbers. The main difference to TPUs is that TPEs are softer. TPUs are a type of TPE but with different hardness levels.

Another advantage is that TPEs are usually heat resistant allowing it to be sterilized. Parts that are 3D printed with this rubber-like material are suitable for many industrial and medical applications as well as functional prototypes.

Strengths

✦ Excellent durability and stability

✦ High level of elasticity

✦ Tear, abrasion and heat resistant

✦ Can be sterilized

✦ Great chemical stability

Weaknesses

✧ Long lead times

✧ Some TPEs may degrade in wet conditions

COMMON APPLICATIONS OF TPE

– Seals and gaskets

– Electrical applications

– Functional prototypes

Available technologies on our TPE 3D PRINT SERVICE

SLS

Selective Laser Sintering builds components with high accuracy and durability in a wide range of materials.

CHARACTERISTICS OF 3D PRINTING IN TPE

SLS

Max. Bed Size (mm)

550x550x750 mm

Max. Bed Size (in)

21.7×21.7×29.5 in

Layer Height

100 μm

Accuracy

★★★☆☆

Smoothness

★★★☆☆

Flexibility

★★★★★

Rigidity

★☆☆☆☆

Biocompatible

No

Food Safe

Not tested

Watertight

Yes

Recyclable

No

General technical data of TPE

Density

0.78 g/cm3

Young Modulus

5.3 MPa

Yield Strength

Not tested

UTS

2.1 MPa

Elongation at Break

220%

Hardness

Shore A35-90

* These values are meant to give a general idea of the material. Actual values may vary according to chosen material brand, 3D print service and build condition. Please refer to the Beamler online quoting platform for actual technical data of each material brand. 

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