NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 25, 2020 – UL, a leading safety science company, publishes research findings detailing the effects of 3D printing on safety-critical polymer performance properties. The findings have been used to develop a framework for evaluating and qualifying materials, helping stakeholders across the additive manufacturing (AM) supply chain to mitigate risk and deliver quality and performance.
UL investigated the flammability, ignition and electrical properties of samples that were 3D printed against samples manufactured using conventional, injection-molded methods. Researchers identified significant safety and performance variations and concluded that performance ratings from traditional manufacturing techniques cannot be applied when the same material is used in a 3D printing process to print a 3D part.
In response, UL has developed a certification program for plastics for additive manufacturing (Blue Card), The Blue Card presents the data necessary to ensure the integrity and usefulness of materials intended for 3D printing and 3D printed components and products. A Blue Card is automatically issued when a material intended for 3D printing receives a UL Recognized Component Mark.
UL Certified AM materials are published in UL’s publicly available Product iQTM database, making them searchable to thousands of manufacturers looking for a certified 3D material. By using an independently tested and certified 3D material, end-product manufacturers can save time and money certifying their end-products or systems. As Blue Cards are specific to a 3D printer, a 3D printer manufacturer can also certify material for explicit use on his equipment.
For more information about UL’s certification program for Plastics for Additive Manufacturing program, visit UL.com/BlueCard.
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