Essentium PCTG-Z ESD View larger

Essentium PCTG-Z ESD

Essentium

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95,00 €
95,00 €

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ESD-safe non-marring PCTG for jigs and fixtures in electronics production. Suitable for explosive atmospheres.

Essentium is an American manufacturer of industrial 3D printers and technical filament, with branches in Asia and Europe. Essentium’s innovative 3D printing solutions are ushering many manufacturers into Industry 4.0 by helping them to prototype and manufacture in-house, increase production with excellent quality but in a quick and economical way. The Essentium materials portfolio contains numerous high-end technical filaments, mostly polymers and blends designed for exceptional strength, flexibility and high mechanical performance in the most arduous industrial conditions. The Essentium filaments have many applications across numerous disciplines, such as aerospace and defense, automotive, biomedical, contract manufacturing, consumer goods, and electronic manufacturing.

High-end technical filament

The PCTG Z filament belongs to Essentium’s family of ESD-safe materials. It is composed of >99 % copolyester and additives. On top of its ESD-safe properties, the Essentium PCTG Z is low-cost, and easy to 3D print (even in open air conditions), machine and post-process. Moreover, it has an excellent surface finish, it doesn’t mar and it is relatively unaffected by humidity.

PCTG is a high-performance entry-level engineering polymer, created by subjecting PET to glycosylation. In this process, the CHDM glycol is added to the PET backbone, replacing its ethylene glycol units with CHDM units by > 50 %. The extra dose of CHDM gives PCTG its improved mechanical properties and chemical resistance. PCTG is a slow-crystallizing semi-crystalline copolyester. The slow crystallization rate means that parts 3D printed with a PCTG filament will mostly be in the amorphous state at first. That will result in excellent optical clarity and toughness but at the cost of lower heat deflection temperature, lower tensile strength, lower elastic modulus and decreased chemical resistance.

All those properties can be improved when the amorphous PCTG is annealed to cold-crystallize it. Annealing is a commonly used process in materials science, and it involves a heat treatment aimed at making a material more workable. In the case of PCTG, it would mean putting the 3D prints in an oven at above the glass transition temperature for a few hours to improve PCTG’s thermomechanical properties by increasing its crystallinity. The ability to change from an amorphous to a semi-crystalline state in various thermal conditions is unique to PCTG. That means the user can choose the most appropriate processing method to obtain an amorphous or semi-crystalline state of PCTG, depending on the desired properties and application of the final piece. This makes PCTG an extremely versatile material. PCTG is mostly used in the biomedical industry to print medical devices such as prosthetics, as well as in manufacturing, to make jigs and fixtures.

A circuit board rack printed with Essentium PCTG Z

Image 1: A circuit board rack printed with Essentium PCTG Z. Source: Essentium.

ESD safe material

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is a phenomenon often observed in everyday life in hair static or when a “kick” or “spark” of electricity is produced upon touching a grounded object, such as a doorknob or another person. ESD events such as these are harmless in everyday life but highly risky and damaging in manufacturing operations involving electronic components. The Essentium PCTG Z filament, designed to help eliminate that problem in medium-duty electronics production, acts as a dissipator of the electrostatic discharge and safely "evacuates" it along the surface of a piece 3D printed with the PCTG Z filament. ESD safe materials are also extremely useful in industries with potentially explosive atmospheres (petrochemical plants, coal mines, flour mills, areas with powder-based 3D printers).

Usually, to make a filament ESD safe, antistatic coatings or conductive fillers (such as carbon black and graphite) are added to the filament. Fillers and coatings can, however, negatively influence the performance of the filament or the 3D printed piece, making it crumbly and marring (leaving a black mark), or even contribute to latent failure in electronics. The Z line of filament is Essentium’s way to eliminate those risks produced by standard ESD filaments containing fillers. Instead of fillers, the Essentium Z line filaments have conductive nanomaterials on the surface, so the mechanical performance of pieces printed with PCTG Z is not jeopardized. Moreover, the PCTG Z’s overall cost is significantly reduced compared to other ESD filaments since the percentage of carbon in this filament is very low (around 0.01 %). Other ESD filaments normally need to contain 20-30 % of carbon fiber to achieve the same level of surface resistivity.

Video 1: The Essentium PCTG Z compared with other ESD-safe filament. Source: Essentium.

All those qualities make the Essentium PCTG Z a very versatile, affordable and easy-to-use material, qualified for many applications. The manufacturer recommends it for the biomedical industry and the 3D printing of jigs and fixtures. Some example uses for the Essentium PCTG Z would be handheld tools, ESD part trays, general assembly fixtures for electronics, robotics and automation components, as well as parts for explosion-proof environments.

Impact strength (KJ/m2) 7
Elongation at break (%) 150
Tensile strength (MPa) 45
Tensile modulus (MPa) 1810
Flexural strength (MPa) 75
Flexural modulus (MPa) 1720
Softening temperature (ºC) 76
Electrical conductivity Electrical conductivity
Hide color variations (Hide color variations)

The Essentium PCTG Z is not significantly affected by humidity. It is crucial, however, to store the spool in a vacuum sealed packaging or in a drying cabinet or case at all stages of the 3D printing process. Some great solutions would be the Fiber Three drying case, available in the version F3 Safe Light or F3 Safe Long Run. It is recommended to also use the Slice Engineering filament drying capsule inside of the spool for even better results. If the material does absorb more than 600ppm moisture, it should be dried in a low dew point oven or vacuum oven at 65 – 70˚C for 4 – 8 hours. More care instructions can be found in the technical datasheet in the downloads section.

The manufacturer urges the user to avoid touching filament with bare fingers or introducing oils to the filament before printing. The recommended printing surface is G-10/FR4 or glass, and the recommended bed adhesion method is to use Dimafix or Magigoo HT.

To see the exact printing parameters and manufacturer recommendations for this product can be found in the specifications tab or in the technical datasheet in the downloads section.

This filament has been developed for electrostatic discharge applications. Therefore, it has the electrical properties as shown in the diagram:

Indicative schematic for electrical material properties.

Image 1: Indicative schematic for electrical material properties. Source: Essentium.
PositionResistance 
140 mm/s @ 360 ºC
1  4.12e6
2  2.67e4
3  3.59e3
4  5.51e3
5  4.87e3
6  7.60e4
Table 1: Electrical properties of the PCTG Z ESD filament. Source: Essentium.
General information
Manufacturer Essentium
Material PCTG Z
Format 750 g spool
Density 1.23 g/cm3
Filament diameter 1.75 or 2.85 mm
Diameter tolerance -
Filament length ±253.5 m (Ø 1.75mm - 0.75 Kg)
±95.6 m (Ø 2.85mm - 0.75 Kg)
Colour Black
RAL/Pantone -
Printing properties
Printing temperature 250 - 270 ºC
Base/bed temperature 70 - 80  ºC
Chamber temperature Not required
Layer fan 25 - 50 %
Print speed 40 - 80 mm/s
Recommended bed material G-10/FR4 or glass
Recommended bed adhesion method Dimafix or Magigoo HT
Mechanical properties
Izod impact resistance (ISO 180/A) XY 7.0 kJ/m2
45/45 2.7 kJ/m2
YX 3.3 kJ/m2
ZX 2.1 kJ/m2
Charpy impact resistance -
Elongation at break (ISO 527-2) XY 150 %
45/45 8.8 %
YX 2.8 %
ZX 2.2 %
Tensile strength (ISO 527-2) XY 45.0 MPa
45/45 41.0 MPa
YX 33.0 MPa
ZX 33.3 MPa
Tensile modulus (ISO 527-2) XY 1810 MPa
45/45 1740 MPa
YX 1610 MPa
ZX 1670 MPa
Flexural Strength (ISO 178) XY 74.5 MPa
45/45 64.6 MPa
YX 37.2 MPa
ZX 46.8 MPa
Flexural modulus (ISO 178) XY 1720 MPa
45/45 1490 MPa
YX 1420 MPa
ZX 1590 MPa
Thermal properties
Softening temperature (ISO 75) 76 ºC
Melting temperature (ASTM D3418) 202 ºC
Glass transition temperature (ASTM D3418) 76 ºC
Specific properties
Resistant to disolvents -
Additional information
HS Code 3916.9
Spool diameter (outer)
Spool diameter (inner) -
Spool width -


* The typical values listed in this table should be considered as a reference. Actual values may vary depending on the 3D printer model used, part design and printing conditions. We recommend confirming the final results and properties with your own tests. For further information please refer to the product data sheet.

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