Fillers - Summary

Material 3D printing filler open to material industrial pellets direct extrusion
Summary of the use of fillers & reinforcing agents

Fillers improve many properties that the polymeric material does not have or cannot achieve on its own. In particular, they can achieve one or more of the following effects:
- increased stiffness and hardness;
- regulation of thermal expansion and shrinkage;
- increase in thermal resistance;
- reduction of creep;
- modification of rheological properties (flow, thixotroy);
- easier implementation;
- modification of the appearance (opacity, color, texture).

These tables present the characteristics of the most commonly used mineral fillers and the different properties provided by these products and the recommended rates.

Physico-chemical properties of the main mineral fillers

CaCO3 Silices Talcs Wollastonite Clay (kaolin) Mica Al(OH)3 Glass beads
Constituting water < 2,0 % < 0,1 % 4,8 % 0,5 % < 0,5 % < 5,0 % 34,6 % < 0,1 %
Density 2,60 à 2,75 2,65 2,7 à 2,8 2,9 2,5 2,74 à 2,95 2,42 2,48
Hardness Mohs 3,0 7,0 1,0 4,5 4,0 à 6,0 2,4 à 3,0 2,5 à 3,5 5,5
Melting or decomposition temperature (°C) 900 573 380 1 540 1 810 1 300 200 à 600 1 200
Refractive index 1,49 1,55 1,59 1,63 1,56 1,54 à 1,69 1,58 1,51
Color white white grey white white white gold, brown or white white colourless
Shape granular prismatic spherical lamellar acicular lamellar lamellar lamellar spherical
Moisture content < 0,2 % < 0,1 % < 0,3 % < 0,2 % < 0,5 % < 0,3 % < 0,3 % < 0,1 %



Properties and use of the main fillers in thermoplastics

Natural organic products

Type of loads Properties Incorporation rate
(% by mass)
Wood flour Reduces shrinkage during molding.
Provides good electrical properties and shock resistance.
4 to 5
Fruit peel flour Improves flow as well as shine.
Decreases water absorption.
4 to 5
Starch Allows to obtain biodegradable materials. 7

Synthetic organic powders

Type of loads Properties Incorporation rate
(% by mass)
Styrene/butadiene elastomer Increases shock resistance. 1 to 2
PTFE and fluorinated polymers Improves shock resistance and lubrication. 1 to 2
Cellulose acetate butyrate Reduces shrinkage during molding. 1 to 2
Polyethylene Improves surface finish. 1 to 2

Carbon

Type of loads Properties Incorporation rate
(% by mass)
Carbon Black Ultraviolet stabilizer. Facilitates cross-linking. up to 50x (in volume)
Graphite Improves stiffness and creep resistance. up to 50x (in volume)
Petroleum Coke Improves tensile strength and heat resistance. up to 50x (in volume)
Hollow carbon spheres (carbospheres) Lower the density. 30 to 50 (in volume)

Metals

Type of loads Properties
Aluminium, steel, copper, zinc, nickel, bronze. Improves heat resistance and electrical conductivity.

Metal oxides

Type of loads Properties
Aluminum oxide Improves fire resistance.
Magnesium oxide Increases the viscosity of the premixes, as well as the hardness and rigidity of the parts.
Zinc oxide Increases electrical conductivity
and resistance to ultraviolet rays.
Beryllium oxide Increases electrical conductivity.
Aluminium, steel, copper, zinc, nickel, bronze. Improves heat resistance and electrical conductivity.

Silicas

Type of loads Properties
Silica sands Reduce shrinkage during molding.
Quartz Improves moisture resistance and resistance to cracking.
Diatomaceous earth flour (tripoli) Increases the compressive strength of foam products.
Improves thermal, electrical and sound insulation.
Thermal silica (or pyrogenation) Increases viscosity, improves thixotropy.

Silicates

Type of loads Properties Incorporation rate
(% by mass)
Talcs Provides white to light gray pigmentation.
Improves flow.
Increase the rigidity of the parts.
Micas Increase the rigidity and hardness of the parts.
Facilitate demolding.
> 25
Kaolin Improves molding. 20 to 45.
Wollastonite Reduces water absorption.
Improves shock resistance and thermal and dielectric properties.
1 to 50
Glass (microspheres) Increases Young's modulus in compression.
Facilitates mold filling.
10 to 40

Other mineral powders

Type of loads Properties Incorporation rate
(% by mass)
Calcium carbonate Improves gloss as well as mechanical resistance.
Facilitates extrusion.
5 à 33
Potassium Titanate Improves dimensional stability and reduces the molding cycle. 40
Barium Sulfate Increases density and compressive strength. 10 à 25
Barium ferrite Gives magnetic properties. up to 90

Let’s dive into the possibilities offered by PAM


From pellets to object, PAM technology offers the most direct process to high performances end-parts.
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