The PA6 material is a polyamide widely used in all those applications where the components are subject to wear or friction; it guarantees excellent results both used for prototype purposes and for the production of small batches and pre-productions. Compared to PA12, it has superior mechanical properties and greater resistance both at room temperature and at high temperatures.
The PA6 parameterised by the Zare Research and Development Centre has the same characteristics as the base 6 polymer used with traditional production methods and can be used not only for prototype purposes, but also for the production of small batches and pre-productions through Additive Manufacturing.
In fact, products in PA6 manufactured using the SLS 3D printing technology have characteristics, properties and white colouring identical to those of the objects obtained from traditional PA6 and can be subjected to secondary machining operations and painting.
If compared to PA12, a type of widely used polyamide, it presents a different structure of the molecular chain that gives PA6 greater mechanical strength and greater resistance to temperature.
Still with respect to PA12, the PA6 requires different production conditions, especially considering the higher melting temperature: the challenge for our Research and Development Centre was to find the right parameters to work the material in the best possible way, exploiting all the features.
Areas of use of PA6 polyamide
PA6 is one of the most used materials for injection moulding in sectors such as automotive, mechanical engineering and packaging. Typical examples of use are bushings, gears, fittings and all those components that require good mechanical properties and wear resistance combined with a low sliding coefficient.
If the automotive sector is the industry of choice, above all for the components used inside the engine compartments, the PA6 has found a remarkable development in many different applications and sectors and has a very high range of applicability.
PA6: from the creation of functional prototypes to the production of small batches in Additive Manufacturing
PA6 has high mechanical performance, excellent wear resistance, long life and a very high melting temperature.
Therefore, the use of this polymer with additive technologies brings considerable advantages from the production point of view, above all as regards product functionality and reliability and consistency of results over time.
Moreover, the combined use of PA6 and additive technologies allows to obtain components that are very different from one another, without the typical constraints of the traditional method linked to equipment and mould costs, with the speed of delivery that only additive manufacturing can offer.
PA6 allows the production of pre-productions useful to reduce the time-to-market of the product and offers considerable advantages in all those small productions where versatility is a determining factor.
Additive production: specialised personnel to enhance the designer's work
The combination of PA6 and laser sintering allows the designer to validate and verify a new project, also evaluating the functionality of the product, before it enters production, with the added advantage of making use of the same raw material that will then be used for the production itself.
Due to the intrinsic physical properties that characterise the material, which require perfect control of production conditions, it is important to entrust PA6 productions to specialised operators.
At Zare factory, experienced and specialised personnel are able to understand the peculiarities of the material so as to fully exploit its properties and advantages through production in Additive Manufacturing; the perfect control of the production processes also guarantees the repeatability and constancy of result necessary for the perfect success of small batches and productions.