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Igus tribo-SLS powder increases safety of vehicles against fire



To prevent fires effectively in the vehicle interior, suitable materials and appropriate constructive measures are necessary. Igus has taken a decisive step here for ideal fire protection with the 3D print material iglidur I3. It is not only extremely abrasion-resistant and thus an all-rounder for all types of wearing parts, but has also passed the fire test in accordance with FMVSS 302. In the tests, the calorific value measured was around five times lower than the maximum permissible limit.
 
As revealed by appropriate investigations, fires in the vehicle interior are mainly caused due to the careless handling of matches and cigarettes. Therefore, the materials required here should have a low ignitability and flame propagation speed. This is to ensure that due to an impeded combustion and low flame spread, enough time is given to stop a vehicle even at high speed and leave it in time. The tribo-polymer material for selective laser sintering, the iglidur I3 SLS powder, is also used as a robust material in vehicle interiors and has now passed the fire test in accordance with FMVSS 302.
 
Introduced as the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 302 in the US, the test procedure describes the fire resistance requirements of materials used in the passenger compartment of motor vehicles, such as cars and lorries. Procedure: A horizontally arranged specimen (plate) with an average thickness of 2.02 mm was blasted with a Bunsen burner at a flame height of 38 mm. Thereafter, the propagation speed of the flames was determined. The maximum permissible value here is 4 inches/min or 102 mm/min. The tested iglidur I3 had an average burn rate of only 18.8 mm/min and therefore meets the requirements by more than a factor of five.
 
This provides the users with an additional advantage. After all, iglidur I3 components achieve extremely high strength due to the pressure in the SLS process. In laser sintering, virtually no reworking of the finished parts is necessary, and they can be used directly, in prototyping as well as in batch production. 
 
In the process very complex shapes and a high accuracy of the components for moving applications are possible. In the test laboratory at igus, plain bearings made from the 3D print material have been compared with common materials for selective laser sintering. In pivoting, rotating and linear motion, the parts were at least three times more abrasion-resistant than the compared materials.
 
In addition, there is no need to store spare parts and tools. The printed parts are in fact immediately available. This also applies to parts that are no longer available in the market, for example for use in the Trabant. Even if the user does not have his/her own 3D printer, the user can still use iglidur I3. For these cases, igus offers a 3D printing service. Customers get their components printed and delivered in a short time: the ordered parts are available in one to three days. For the print service, igus needs only the CAD models.
 

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