PVC Filament: Everything You Need to Know

Fillamentum Vinyl 303 Natural PVC Filament

PVC Filament elevate your 3D printing projects, from construction components to specialized electrical parts, with confidence in their performance.


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 Chloride (PVC) filament is a versatile and robust material widely recognized in the 3D printing community for its exceptional durability, chemical resistance, and mechanical stability. PVC Filament is commonly used across various industries, notably in construction for piping and as insulation in electrical wiring, showcasing its utility in applications requiring both rigidity and longevity. In addition to its industrial uses, PVC’s unique properties, such as flame retardancy and electrical insulation, make it a valuable material for producing specialized components in automotive, aerospace, and electronics sectors.

Despite its advantages, PVC filament presents certain challenges for 3D printing, including the need for proper ventilation due to the emission of potentially harmful gases when heated. Moreover, its tendency to warp necessitates careful print bed preparation and temperature control. For users capable of managing these aspects, PVC offers the opportunity to create parts with professional-grade material properties not easily replicated by more common filaments.

About PVC Filament

PVC stands out for its excellent resistance to environmental factors, including UV light, making it ideal for outdoor applications. Its ability to withstand a wide range of chemicals further extends its use to chemical handling systems and components exposed to corrosive substances. Despite being one of the more rigid thermoplastics available for 3D printing, PVC still offers a degree of flexibility, particularly in thinner sections, allowing for the design of parts with some movement or flexion.

Printing with PVC requires attention to printer settings and environmental safety precautions, particularly adequate ventilation to handle the fumes produced during printing. The filament’s properties, such as low flammability and good electrical insulation, open up possibilities for creating functional parts with specific safety requirements.

Possible Applications of PVC Filament

Construction and Piping

PVC’s rigidity and chemical resistance make it suitable for construction applications, including plumbing and piping systems that require durability.

Electrical Insulation

Its excellent electrical insulation properties are utilized in producing casings, protectors, and components for electrical and electronic devices.

Automotive Components

PVC can be used to manufacture interior and exterior automotive parts that benefit from its durability, chemical resistance, and flame retardancy.

Medical Devices

Given its sterilizability and chemical resistance, PVC is appropriate for certain medical devices, though care must be taken to meet biocompatibility standards.

#FillamentumVinyl 303 Natural PVC Filament
<a href=httpswww3djakecomfillamentum>Fillamentum<a>Vinyl 303 Natural PVC Filament

Pros and Cons of PVC Filament

Pros:

  • Chemical Resistance: Superior resistance to a wide range of chemicals, making it suitable for harsh environments.
  • Durability: Offers excellent mechanical stability and longevity.
  • Flame Retardancy: Low flammability enhances the safety of parts in fire-risk environments.
  • UV and Weather Resistance: Suitable for outdoor applications without significant degradation.

Cons:

  • Emissions during Printing: Requires well-ventilated areas due to the release of potentially harmful gases.
  • Warping: Tendency to warp necessitates careful print bed preparation.
  • Rigidity: While beneficial for structural components, limits flexibility in applications requiring more elastic materials.

Material Settings of PVC Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]215 – 230
Build Plate Temperature [°C]70 – 90
Print Speed [mm/s]40 – 60
Cooling Fan [%]0 – 50
Enclosed Build ChamberRequired
Air ManagementRequired
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingNot Required

Achieving successful prints with PVC depends on maintaining optimal temperatures and ensuring a stable printing environment. The enclosed build chamber and efficient air management are crucial for minimizing warping and handling emissions.

Mechanical Properties of PVC Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessD75
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.3 – 1.35
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]40 – 50
Elongation at Break [%]10 – 15
Flexural Strength [Mpa]NA
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]NA
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]NA
HDT B [°C]NA
Tg [°C]NA
UV ResistanceModerate

PVC’s mechanical properties reflect its strength and stability, making it a preferred option for parts requiring rigidity, chemical resistance, and durability in demanding conditions.

Material Comparison

MaterialPLAABSPVC
Print Temperature [°C]180 – 235230 – 270215 – 230
DurabilityModerateHighHighest
Ease of PrintingHighModerateDifficult
UV ResistanceLowModerateModerate
Heat ResistanceLowModerateHigh

PVC distinguishes itself with the highest levels of durability, UV, and heat resistance among the compared materials, though its printability is more challenging due to emissions and warping.

FAQ´s about PVC Filament

What safety precautions are necessary when printing with PVC?

Adequate ventilation is crucial when printing with PVC due to the potential release of harmful gases. Using an enclosed printer with air filtration can also mitigate risks.

Can PVC be used for any type of 3D printing project?

While PVC is versatile, its characteristics make it most suitable for projects requiring chemical resistance, durability, and safety from fire risks, rather than those needing elasticity or intricate detailing.

How does PVC handle outdoor conditions?

PVC is highly resistant to UV light and weathering, making it an excellent choice for outdoor applications where less resilient materials might degrade.

Is PVC filament recyclable?

PVC is recyclable; however, its chlorine content requires it to be recycled in appropriate facilities equipped to handle chlorine-containing materials safely.

How can warping be minimized when printing with PVC?

Using a heated bed, brims, and enclosures can reduce warping. Selecting a print surface that PVC adheres to well, such as certain adhesives or tapes, can also improve bed adhesion.

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