PVB Filament Everything You Need to Know

Polymaker PolySmooth Electric Blue PVB FIlament

Unlock the potential of PVB filament in 3D printing. Explore its benefits, applications, and post-processing techniques for optimal results.


by Editorial Staff: We are a team of 3D Printing Enthusiasts who have build a lot of knowledge about 3D Printing the last 8 years. Our aim is to create the knowledge hub for 3D Printing covering all minor and major topics. Providing one source of reliable Information for everybody regardless of Beginner or Expert.


Introduction

Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) filament is notably recognized for its superior layer adhesion, excellent surface finish, and remarkable flexibility. Originally, PVB filament has been widely used in safety glass applications, where its capacity to hold shattered glass pieces together is highly valued. However, in the realm of 3D printing, these attributes translate into prints with smooth surfaces and increased resilience, making PVB an attractive choice for both designers and engineers.

PVB’s compatibility with full-color dyeing also sets it apart, allowing for a vibrant range of colored prints. This material strikes a perfect balance between flexibility and stiffness, catering to applications where a delicate blend of these properties is crucial. Unlike more conventional filaments like PLA, PVB offers improved solvent resistance, including resistance to alcohols and automotive fluids, making it versatile for various practical applications. Nonetheless, it’s important to note that while PVB is less brittle than PLA, it requires specific storage conditions to prevent moisture absorption, which can affect print quality.

About PVB Filament

Expanding upon its intrinsic qualities, PVB distinguishes itself with high impact resistance and a slight flexibility, which can be advantageous for creating parts or prototypes that might experience occasional stresses. Its UV resistance is another noteworthy feature — PVB can withstand sun exposure, making it suitable for applications with potential outdoor use. Solvent resistance is similarly robust, safeguarding prints against degradation from various chemicals.

However, to leverage these advantages, proper print settings and post-processing are essential. PVB can be smoothed using an alcohol vapor process, enhancing not only the aesthetics but also the part strength and water resistance. This capacity for post-print finishing is particularly appealing for creating high-quality, functional prototypes or parts requiring a superior look and feel.

Possible Applications of PVB Filament

Given its unique set of properties, PVB filament finds its applications across a diverse spectrum. In the automotive sector, its solvent and UV resistance make it suitable for creating durable, aesthetically pleasing interior components. Consumer goods similarly benefit from PVB’s advantages, where items such as sunglasses frames can utilize the material’s UV resistance and capability for vibrant coloring.

Sporting Goods

PVB is advantageous for creating durable, flexible sports equipment that can withstand regular use and exposure to the elements.

Prototyping

The material’s excellent surface finish and post-processing capabilities make it ideal for high-quality prototypes in the design and engineering phases.

Artistic and Decorative Items

PVB’s compatibility with color dyeing allows for the creation of vivid, customized pieces, catering to designers seeking to produce intricate, colorful objects.

Pros and Cons of PVB Filament

Pros: PVB’s superior layer adhesion and smooth surface finish reduce the need for extensive post-processing, making it a time-efficient choice. Its flexibility, coupled with good impact resistance, opens up a broad application range. Additionally, PVB’s UV resistance make it more robust for outdoor and mechanical uses compared to many other 3D printing materials.

Cons: Despite its benefits, PVB’s primary drawback is its moisture sensitivity, requiring careful storage and potentially pre-drying before use. Moreover, its relatively higher cost compared to standard filaments like PLA can be a deterrent for budget-conscious users. Lastly, PVB may not be the best choice for extremely high-strength applications due to its moderate tensile strength.

Polymaker PolySmooth Jet Black PVB Filament

Material Settings of PVB Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]190 – 220
Build Plate Temperature [°C]25 – 70
Print Speed [mm/s]40 – 60
Cooling Fan [%]30 – 100
Enclosed Build ChamberNot Required
Air ManagementRecommended
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingNot Required

Optimal printing of PVB requires attention to moisture content in the filament; drying before use is often recommended. The ability to fine-tune cooling can significantly impact the quality of the print, affecting both aesthetics and structural integrity.

Mechanical Properties of PVB Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD75 – D80
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.1 – 1.15
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]35 – 51
Elongation at Break [%]3.4 – 5.8
Flexural Strength [Mpa]60 – 77
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]1200 – 2350
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]10 – 15
HDT B [°C]66 – 68
Tg [°C]70

PVB filament’s mechanical characteristics underline its suitability for applications necessitating a blend of flexibility and durability. The ability to withstand impacts without fracturing is particularly beneficial in consumer products and sports equipment.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAABSPVB
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235230 – 270190 – 220
DurabilityModerateHighHigh
Ease of PrintingHighModerateModerate
UV ResistanceLowModerateHigh
Heat ResistanceLowModerateLow

PVB offers a unique combination of ease of printing, akin to PLA, and the durability and UV resistance typically associated with ABS, positioning it as a versatile choice for a range of applications that require both aesthetic appeal and functional reliability.

FAQ´s about PVB Filament

What makes PVB different from other 3D printing materials?

PVB stands out for its excellent surface finish, flexibility, and superior layer adhesion. Its resistance to UV and solvents adds to its distinctiveness in the materials market.

Can PVB be used for outdoor applications?

Yes, PVB’s UV resistance makes it suitable for outdoor use, though long-term exposure to extreme conditions should be avoided.

How should PVB filament be stored?

PVB filament should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably with desiccant packets or in a sealed container to prevent moisture absorption.

Is post-processing necessary for PVB prints?

While PVB prints boast a smooth finish directly from the printer, post-processing with alcohol vapors can further enhance surface smoothness and water resistance.

Can PVB be used in functional parts?

Yes, PVB is suitable for functional parts requiring good impact resistance and flexibility, making it a good choice for protective gear, sports equipment, and certain automotive components.

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