USA & Canada
USA & Canada
UV treated FDM material
Blog

The Impact of UV on FDM Materials

Rob Levesque Senior Marketing Content Manager
Robert Levesque August 30, 2023
August 30, 2023

Understanding The Polymer Characteristics

Tested FDM 3D Printing Materials.

The molecular structure of plastics makes them susceptible to degradation from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The degree of distress depends on the specific polymer and the UV light’s wavelength. That’s why when you choose a 3D printing material, it’s essential to understand the polymer’s characteristics and the conditions it will experience in its intended application.

 

Measuring The Impact of UV Exposure.

Recently, Stratasys additive manufacturing engineers tested 11 FDM thermoplastics to measure the impact of UV exposure. Test samples (called plaques) were printed in the flat (XY) and upright c(XZ) orientations and then put inside a QUV Chamber. The QUV chamber can simulate months or years of exposure to UV and humidity.

 

Material Mechanical Performance Properties Tested

The samples were inspected for color change using the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (International Commission on Illumination) standard. Each plaque was photographed to record any color change. In addition to visual impact, all the plaques were tested to determine the effect on mechanical properties.

Tested Performance Properties:

• Yield strength

• Stress at break

• Elongation at break

• Modulus

Test results varied by material. For example, visual changes included colors becoming darker or skewing toward a yellow, red, or blue hue. Mechanical properties also varied, with some materials exhibiting an increase in properties such as tensile strength, while others either remained the same, or degraded somewhat.

For more detailed information on which specific FDM polymers were tested and the tabulated results for each material, download the white paper below.

Download the White Paper

Download

Related Content

3d Comparision

Compare our Technologies

Find the best 3D printing solution for your application, operations and business needs.

View more
Great Western Railway Train on Tracks

New Life for Old Rolling Stock

Read our new case study to learn how GWR uses 3D printing to bring sustainability to the rails.

View more
JW Speaker Image

J.W. Speaker Lights up Additive Manufacturing with GrabCAD® Print Pro

J.W. Speaker has grown from a small lighting shop purchased in Ohio in the 1970s into one of the most respected brands in specialized LED vehicle lighting, Serving a broad range of industries, the manufacturer proudly designs, makes and assembles all of their products in Germantown, Wisconsin.

View more
3d Comparision

Find the best 3D printing solution for your application, operations and business needs.

Great Western Railway Train on Tracks

Read our new case study to learn how GWR uses 3D printing to bring sustainability to the rails.

JW Speaker Image

J.W. Speaker has grown from a small lighting shop purchased in Ohio in the 1970s into one of the most respected brands in specialized LED vehicle lighting, Serving a broad range of industries, the manufacturer proudly designs, makes and assembles all of their products in Germantown, Wisconsin.