Material Science Part 5: Alumide – the ‘Hot Dog’ in the Polyamide Family

In Archive by trinckle team

Alumide? Have you misspelled aluminum some people might wonder? Actually, when I had to deal with this material at first, I thought that people in the field of 3D printing don’t really know anything about proper chemical elements. But then I started to snoop around! See what I found out:

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Most Metallic of Them All?


While queuing at the world famous Pink’s hot dog stand in Hollywood (USA), I was always amazed by how people like to have their hot dogs stuffed. Although polyamide is of course far away from being fit to eat, it can be stuffed like a hot dog with many diverse materials such as aluminum – then called Alumide. It consists of a blend of gray aluminum powder and a very fine granular polyamide 12 (PA 12) powder. The surface of an Alumide piece feels slightly porous and has a sandy, granular look. Objects made in Alumide are easy to process by polishing, glossing or varnishing. In case you wonder where or when to use Alumide, read more here:


Advantages:

  • Excellent dimensional accuracy
  • Good strength
  • Well-balanced proportion between density and rigidity
  • Increased thermal conductivity
  • Good mechanical finishing
  • Good resistance to a certain amount of stress
  • Medium resistance to bending pressure

Limitations:

  • Medium rigidity
  • Pricier in comparison to PA 12
  • Limited choice of color finishes

Application Area:

  • Automotive manufacturing (wind tunnel testing)
  • Tool inserts
  • Illustrative modeling
  • Jig manufacturing (custom-made tools)

Use in 3D Printing:

  • Complex models
  • Concept models
  • Small series of models
  • Functional models

Preferred for:

  • Models with a higher demand for stiffness compared to polyamide
  • Models with a demand for a metallic look
  • Models with illustrative character

For more information on materials read here:
Material Science Part 1: Polyamide (PA11) – Have You Ever Wondered What Nylons, Toothbrushes and 3D Printed Designs in SLS Have in Common?
Material Science Part 2: Polyamide (PA 12) – A Boring Material or Actually a Game of Fire and Glass?
Material Science Part 3: Polyamide (PA 6) – PA 6- Some Polyamides Like It Hot to Get in Shape
Material Science Part 4: ABS – PLA – the Magnificent Two
Material Science Part 6: Silver – the Most Precious of Them All
Material Science Part 7: Ceramics – Not Only for Fine Art

Written By

trinckle team

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