There appear to be several plastic additive 3D printing materials that may be suitable for 150 degrees F potable water use. Information about some of these materials is given below. For one suitable material, HIPS, further research into specific manufacturers of the filament has provided more detailed information about the varieties available and corresponding costs.
Plastic additive 3D printing materials that are suitable for 150 degrees F potable water use were chosen for high thermal resistance properties as well as being biocompatible, with current use for products in contact with food. Some materials that seemed to be suitable were PA 12, PA-GF, ABS-M30i and PLA. Below are a few key features about each material as well as manufacturers and costs if these were available.
1. PA 12
- PA 12 is a polyamide that is used in selective laser sintering. PA 12 is suitable for 150 degrees F potable water use, as it has a high thermal resistance and is biocompatible and food-safe, meeting the requirements for the drinking water sector.
- PA 12 is self-supporting, reducing the need for a support structure. As well as high thermal and mechanical resistance, polyamide parts are also resistant to most chemicals.
- It also has the lowest water absorption characteristics of any polyamide and can be made to be watertight, making it suitable for potable water use.
- PA 12 has a melting temperature of over 350 degrees F and a heat deflection temperature of over 180 degrees F.
- Materialise, Arkema, Evonik, Daicel, and EMS-Grivory are all manufacturers of PA 12. Individual quotes can be obtained from Materialise, Arkema, Evonik, Daicel, and EMS-Grivory.
- PA-GF is a polyamide filled with glass particles used in selective laser sintering. It has a much higher thermal resistance than polyamide, suggesting it is suitable for 150 degrees F usage.
- PA-GF has a thermal resistance of up to 230 degrees F as well as having high density and tensile strength and high stiffness. This makes it suitable for conditions where temperature performance or wear resistance are important.
- They have high chemical stability, with resistance to hydraulic fluids, oils, salt water, and solvents, among other chemical products.
- PA-GF grades are often used in systems with potable water as a heat carrier fluid, suggesting it is suitable for 150 degrees F potable water use.
- However, PA-GF can have a water absorption of 1.92%, so is not the most waterproof.
- Materialise, Ensinger, Goodfellow, and Eos all manufacture PA-GF. Individual quotes can be obtained from Materialise, Ensinger, and Eos. Goodfellow offers prices that vary from £23 to £79 per 100g, depending on the quantity purchased and the percentage of glass used.
- Other prices for PA-GF seem to vary between $1.00 to $3.00 per kilogram.
- ABS-M30i is a high-strength and durable material that is biocompatible in its raw state, complying with ISO 10993. It is often used in food and drug packaging and the medical devices industry.
- As ABS-M30i is biocompatible and can be gamma or EtO sterilized, it is suitable for products that come into contact with food or potable water. It also has an NSF 51 certification in food safety.
- ABS-M30i is a high strength thermoplastic, with excellent mechanical properties, such as tensile strength.
- ABS-M30i has a heat deflection temperature of around 180 to 200 degrees F and a glass transition temperature of 226 degrees F. This makes it suitable for 150 degrees F use.
- Materialise, Stratasys, 3D Alchemy, and SYS all manufacture ABS-M30i. Individual quotes can be obtained from Materialise, Stratasys, 3D Alchemy, and SYS.
- The price for an ABS-M30i filament canister seems to be around $350 to $360.
- PLA, or polylactic acid, is a thermoplastic polymer that can be made from cornstarch, sugar cane and tapioca. It is biodegradable and food-safe and is often used for bottles and biodegradable medical devices.
- PLA has a melting point of around 300 degrees F.
- PLA is not toxic and close to carbon neutral. It also has good mechanical properties, such as high tensile strength. It is also environmentally friendly and low cost.
- However, PLA is more susceptible to heat than other plastics, with the glass transition temperature is between 111 and 145 degrees F. PLA may also degrade in humidity.
- NatureWorks, Arkema, and Total Corbion all manufacture PLA. Individual quotes can be obtained from NatureWorks, Arkema, and Total Corbion.
- PLA filament for 3D printing appears to cost around $20.
Manufacturers of HIPS
Zortrax, Monoprice, Fillamentum, and MatterHackers were all found to manufacture HIPS plastic additive 3D printing materials. Below are more details about the HIPS product or products, including exact pricing, varieties sold and recommended 3D printers or settings where these were available.
- Zortrax manufacturers Z-HIPS filament.
- The Z-HIPS filament is sold in 6 different colors: black, gray, natural white, green, red and yellow. It also has a glass transition temperature of 210 degrees F.
- Applications of the Z-HIPS filament include functional prototyping, low volume end-use parts production, casings, and consumer product prototypes.
- This filament is compatible with the Zortrax M200, Zortrax M200 Plus, Zortrax M300 and Zortrax M300 Plus printers.
- Zortrax sells its filament for $49 for the 800g spool, which is designed for the Zortrax M200 and Zortrax M200 Plus printers.
- Monoprice sells spools of Premium HIPS Filament.
- The filament is sold on 1kg spools and with a standard diameter of 1.75 mm. Monoprice sells one color, white.
- The HIPS filament sold by Monoprice has a nominal processing temperature of 446 degrees F and is also dissolvable in Limonene.
- For best results, Monoprice recommends using a dual-extruder 3D printer. Customer reviews show that the filament prints “incredibly well” on the Monoprice 3D printer.
- Monoprice sells its HIPS filament for $30.99.
- Fillamentum sells spools of HIPS Extrafill.
- The filament is sold in five different colors: metallic gray, natural, signal red, sky blue, and traffic black.
- HIPS Extrafill is described as “the perfect material for prototyping or functional objects”. It is dissolvable in Lemonesol, as well as excellent mechanical properties such as strength and toughness and great dielectric strength and resistivity properties.
- HIPS Extrafill is certified for food contact. It is also resistant to heat and water, so it can withstand long-term contact with hot water.
- The filament has a working temperature of 446 to 482 degrees F and uses a heated pad of 194 to 221 degrees F.
- 750g of HIPS Extrafill costs €23.95 for the natural color and €26 for the colored varieties.
- MatterHackers sells several versions of HIPS Dissolvable Filament and Closed Loop Plastics Party Pink Recycled Polystyrene.
- HIPS Dissolvable Filament is solved in two color varieties, white and black, and in two thicknesses, 1.75mm and 2.85mm.
- HIPS Dissolvable Filament is dissolvable in Limonene solution. It has similar strength and stiffness properties as ABS.
- The recommended printer settings for printing with HIPS Dissolvable Filament are a bed temperature between 194 and 230 degrees F and an extrusion temperature of around 446 degrees F.
- 1kg of HIPS Dissolvable Filament is sold for $39 for all color and thickness variants.
- Closed Loop Plastics is sold in two varieties, 1.75mm and 3.00mm.
- Closed Loop Plastics material is all made from recycled polystyrene and is colored pink from the red dye used in the original plastic.
- Closed Loop Plastics Party Pink HIPS material is responsibly sourced and a sustainable alternative.
- 0.25kg of Closed Loop Plastics material is sold for $14.99.
When searching for 3D printing materials suitable for 150 degrees F potable water use, we looked for materials that were advertised as having high-temperature resistance and heat deflection and glass transition temperatures above 150 F. Additionally, we searched for plastics that were considered biocompatible and food-safe and already had applications within the food or medical industries, as these would be suitable for potable water use.
After identifying manufacturers of suitable materials, we searched on their websites and product information for prices, but often these were only available when asking for a quote. For some plastics, we were able to find material sold elsewhere and used this to form an estimated cost.
For each manufacturer, we identified which products contained HIPS, which allowed us to find which variants were offered, pricing for their products and other information about the 3D printing materials.