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Filaments composed of graphene, which provides value in conductive applications of electricity, as well as in applications to increase mechanical strength without penalizing lightness in the pieces.

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Properties of graphene

Graphene is a substance similar to graphite composed of pure carbon and with an organization of its atoms in hexagonal form. Its mechanical properties are really incredible, its resistance is 200 times higher than the strongest steel currently available, its density is similar to carbon fiber and five times lighter than aluminum. The high values of the mechanical properties of graphene are so high that it is used for bulletproof shielding, which is usually installed in high security vehicles.

In particular, the graphene filament, apart from presenting high levels of resistance, is a good electrical conductor with a volume resistivity of 0.9 ohm x cm. The volume of resistivity is the measure of the resistance of a material to the passage of electricity within a cubic centimeter of material. This value is key to calculate the volume that the part to be manufactured must have to achieve the desired electrical resistance.

Applications of graphene

The use of graphene filament in 3D printing is mainly focused on electrical and electronic applications. It can be used to create capacitive sensors (touch) used in a wide range of commonly used electronic products and also, for the design of human interface devices (pencil-pointers for mobiles and tablets). Another application of this filament is the creation of electrically conductive circuits for use in electronics. Traditionally, users of 3D printing to be able to add conductive circuits to their creations had to design the pieces with the necessary grooves for once the printing was finished add copper wire. With the graphene conductive filament the wiring can be printed simultaneously to the construction process of the piece.

Another very interesting material in this category is the flexible conductive filament (TPU), which is used to manufacture flexible electronic circuits, such as electrodes for electrocardiograms.