FilaFlex TPE 82A

Recreus

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27,90 €tax excl.
27,90 €tax incl.

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One of the most elastic and softest filaments on the market, reaching 650% stretch.

Filaflex is a TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) filament. TPE is also known as thermoplastic rubber. It is the result of the mixture of polymers, a plastic as a base and rubber as an alloy, resulting in a material with thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. The degree of critical crosslinking of the TPE molecular structure is the cause of the high level of elasticity, crosslinking produced by the dipole-dipole junction (hydrogen bridges or Vander Waals forces). But by heating this material it can be processed as a thermoplastic, making it easy to weld and reuse.

This material is much more economical and easier to shape than conventional silicones and rubbers, since, unlike those mentioned above, TPE does not require long production times or specialized facilities. Its application extends to an endless number of sectors, highlighting its use in construction (expansion joints or window insulation) and in the automotive industry (sleeves, dust covers, spring washers or anti-vibration parts).

In addition to being flexible, Filaflex is the most elastic filament on the market, reaching 650% stretch to break. Filaflex filament has great elasticity, a high coefficient of friction and great softness that make it a flexible material with excellent properties for 3D printing.

 

Filaflex

Image 1: 3D printed sneaker with Filaflex. Source: Recreus.

FilaFlex has excellent bonding properties with PLA, ABS, HiPS, Nylon and almost any 3D printing material. This allows the creation of composite pieces that combine hard and soft materials in a single impression. In addition FilaFlex filament is resistant to gasoline, solvents and acetone. FilaFlex is non-toxic but is not approved for medical or food use. It does not emit odors, it is totally odorless and it does not produce toxic gases.

Until now, the differentiation rule was established that showed that a TPE was always flexible, and a semi-flexible or rigid TPU. Currently, this differentiation has ceased to make sense due to the great development of variants in TPE and TPU materials, and there are very flexible TPE filaments (with Shore 70A, 82A and 90A hardnesses) and semi-flexible such as 96A.

Therefore, when defining what material is needed for an application with a material with some flexibility, it will be necessary to analyze the sum of two totally differentiated vectors from which the correct choice or resulting vector will result. On the one hand, the hardness of the material itself (normally compared on a Shore A scale) and, on the other hand, the type of material (TPE or TPU), with the differences regarding its intrinsic properties.

In the following table you can see the comparison between the different materials with some flexibility that exist in the market:

TPE 70A 
Filaflex
TPE 82A 
Filaflex
TPE 90A 
Flexfill
TPU 92A 
Flexfill
TPU 93A
Smartfil
TPE 96A 
Flexfill
TPU 98A 
Flexfill
Tensile strength
(MPa)
32 45 5 49 40 5 53.7
Elongation at break 900 % 600 % 250 % - - 150 % 318 %
Absorción 
humedad
-
Chemical resistance Solvent Acetone
Fuel
Solvent Acetone
Fuel
Water
Acid
Alcohol
Alkali
Polish
Oil
Polish
Oil
Solvent
Water
Acid
Alcohol
Alkali 
Polish
Oil
Contact food and skin Not recommend. Not recommend. Certificate Not recommend. Not recommend. Reliable Not recommend.
Permeability gases -

Table 1: Comparison of properties of the flexible filament range

Although it is true that Filaflex 82A is more complicated to print than a rigid filament, with the proper configuration it can be printed on almost any 3D printer. It is recommended to read the usage tips in detail to get the most out of Filaflex.

Elongation at break (%) 600
Tensile strength (MPa) 45
Surface hardness 4
Softening temperature (ºC) 105
Elasticity Elasticity
Flexibility Flexibility
Abrasion resistance Abrasion resistance
Vibration resistance Vibration resistance
UV resistance UV resistance
Moisture resistance Moisture resistance
Chemical resistance Chemical resistance
Hide color variations (Hide color variations)

Flexible filament printing opens up a world of possibilities in 3D printing. However, it is a material that can pose certain difficulties when printing.

The ideal way to print this material is to work with a direct extruder, so the greatest difficulties usually arise when using Bowden type extrusion systems. Due to the consistency of Filaflex 82A, when retracting in printers with Bowden systems, jams may occur at the time of retraction. These jams are less likely when using 2.85mm filament due to the filament's own consistency.

To avoid jams, in case of using a bowden type extruder, it is recommended that it be double-traction, such as the Bondtech BMG or Bondtech QR.

How to avoid jams

A possible solution to jams with Bowden type extruders would be to change the guide tube to a PTFE tube like the Capricorn XS. These tubes are developed in a way that helps reduce filament friction, thus requiring lower retractions.

When starting to print with Filaflex 82A, the following parameters are recommended for guidance:

  1. Print speed: 20 - 25 mm / s
  2. Printing temperature: 245 ° C
  3. No retraction or very little retraction (1.5 mm retraction distance)
  4. Increase the flow if the filament extrusion is intermittent, between (105-115%)
  5. Adjust the extruder tension to avoid choking the filament and causing jams.

As experience increases, speed and temperature can be increased to achieve high-quality prints. It is necessary to use the layer fan because it is quite liquid when melting. As for the extrusion height, it does not affect its adhesion between layers (Ideal between 0.1 and 0.25 mm).

Thanks to its great adhesion to the base, Filaflex does not require a heated bed or the use of BuildTak or adhesives such as 3DLac, kapton tape or Blue Tape.

It is highly recommended to read the following article in which you can see the main difficulties that FilaFlex presents when printing as well as the solutions and advice for use. The manufacturer Recreus 3D provides the printing profiles (CURA, SLIC3R, CRAFTWARE, KISSLICER or SIMPLIFY3D) for FilaFlex at the followinglink. In addition, in the downloads tab you can find the technical data and the safety data sheet provided by the manufacturer.

General information
Manufacturer Recreus 3D (Spain)
Material TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)
Format Pack of 50g
Spool of 0.5kg
Density 1.12 g/cm3
Diameter of filament 1.75 or 2.85 mm
Diameter tolerance ±0,05 mm
Filament length ±185 m (Ø 1.75mm-0.5kg)
±70 m (Ø 2.85mm-0.5kg)
Color Black, white, red, blue, light skin, dark skin, green, yellow, natural, fluorine, magenta, orange, purple, aquamarine, silver, gold, translucent blue, translucent green, translucent magenta and translucent orange.
RAL/Pantone -
Print settings
Printing temperature 215-250ºC
Print bed temperature Not necessary
Chamber temperature Not necessary
Cooling fan Recommended
Recommended printing speed 20-60 mm/s
Minimum nozzle diameter 0.4 mm or more
Layer height 0.2 mm
Retraction 3.5-6.5 mm (20-120 mm/s)
Mechanical properties
Izod impact strength -
Charpy impact strength -
Elongation at break (DIN 53504-S2) 600% 
Tensile strength (DIN 53504-S2) 45 MPa 
Tensile Modulus -
Flexural strength  -
Flexural modulus -
Surface hardness Shore 82A
Abrasion resistance 23 mm3
Thermal properties
Softening temperature (ASTM E2092) 105ºC 
Melting temperature 220ºC
Specific properties
Transparency  -
Flammability classification UL94 HB
Toxicity No
Resistant to solvents, acetone and fuel Yes
Additional Information
HS Code 3916.9
Spool Diameter (outer) 200 mm 
Spool Diameter  (inner hole) 53 mm 
Spool width 50 mm 


* The typical values detailed 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 results and final properties with own tests. For more information you should consult the technical data sheet of the product.

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