TPC Filament: Everything You Need to Know

Formfutura FlexiFil TPC Filament 40D Black

Discover everything about TPC filament: from its flexibility and durability to print settings and applications, get a comprehensive overview for optimal use.


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

Thermoplastic Copolyester (TPC) filament is an advanced 3D printing material that combines the resilience and flexibility of rubber with the strength and processability of thermoplastics. TPC is designed for professional applications that demand high performance in challenging environments. This filament stands out for its exceptional combination of thermal properties, chemical resistance, and mechanical strength, alongside significant flexibility and durability. TPC filament is particularly favored for its ability to create parts that are not only flexible and durable but also capable of withstanding extreme conditions, making it a go-to choice for industries ranging from automotive to consumer goods.

TPC’s versatility is underlined by its excellent UV resistance and ability to maintain properties over a wide temperature range, making it ideal for outdoor and high-impact applications. Additionally, its resistance to oils, greases, and many chemicals opens up a realm of possibilities for functional parts and products in demanding operational conditions. For users seeking a material that offers the toughness of engineering thermoplastics with added flexibility, TPC offers a compelling solution.

About TPC Filament

TPC filaments are designed to fulfill the needs of applications where traditional materials may fall short. They exhibit superior elongation at break, ensuring parts can stretch significantly without damage, and snap back to their original form. This elasticity, combined with high wear resistance, makes TPC an invaluable material for creating parts that need to endure bending, twisting, or compression forces regularly.

Printing with TPC can be challenging due to its flexibility; thus, it requires careful calibration of print settings to achieve optimal results. Despite these challenges, TPC remains an attractive option for engineers and designers due to its broad utility and performance features that are difficult to replicate with more rigid materials.

Possible Applications of TPC Filament

Automotive Industry

TPC is used for manufacturing flexible couplings, seals, and gaskets that must withstand dynamic stresses and chemical exposures.

Consumer Electronics

For electronic housings, button pads, and protective cases, TPC offers the needed resilience against drops, impacts, and daily wear.

Medical Devices

Its biocompatibility and sterilization compatibility make TPC suitable for various medical applications, including flexible tubing, seals, and wearable devices.

Sports and Leisure

TPC brings durability and flexibility to sports equipment, impact-resistant gear, and other recreational products, blending performance with safety.

Pros and Cons of TPC Filament

Pros:

  • Diverse Mechanical Properties: Offers a unique blend of flexibility, durability, and strength.
  • Chemical and Environmental Resistance: Capable of withstanding harsh chemicals and weather conditions, including UV exposure.
  • High Thermal Resistance: Maintains properties across a broad temperature range.
  • Flexibility: Provides the elasticity needed for parts requiring movement or compression.

Cons:

  • Printing Difficulty: The material’s flexibility can challenge printers without the proper setup, potentially leading to extrusion issues.
  • Cost: Generally, TPC filament comes at a higher price point compared to basic filaments like PLA and ABS.
  • Speed Limitations: Requires slower print speeds to ensure accuracy and prevent material from stretching or compressing during extrusion.
Formfutura FlexiFil TPC Filament 40D Black
<a href=httpswww3djakecomformfutura target= blank rel=noopener title=>Formfutura<a>FlexiFil TPC 40D Black

Material Settings of TPC Filament

SettingValue
Print Temperature [°C]220 – 260
Build Plate Temperature [°C]20 – 60
Print Speed [mm/s]20 – 50
Cooling Fan [%]20 – 50
Enclosed Build ChamberNot Required
Air ManagementRecommended
Min Active Heated Build Chamber Temperature [°C]Not Required
DryingRecommended
AnnealingNot Required

Achieving high-quality prints with TPC necessitates fine-tuning print settings for the specific filament brand and printer model. A direct drive extruder is often preferred for better control over the filament feeding process.

Mechanical Properties of TPC Filament

PropertyValue
Shore HardnessA91 – D45
Specific Gravity [g/cc]1.01 – 1.22
Tensile Strength at Break [Mpa]6 – 24
Elongation at Break [%]400 – 530
Flexural Strength [Mpa]NA
Flexural Modulus [Mpa]NA
Impact Strength Charpy 23˚C [kJ/m²]No Break
HDT B [°C]NA
Tg [°C]-40 – 160
UV ResistanceHigh

The mechanical properties of TPC filament showcase its exceptional durability and flexibility, making it uniquely suited for applications where both characteristics are crucial.

Material Comparison

MaterialTPETPUTPC
Print Temperature [°C]220 – 250220 – 250220 – 260
DurabilityHighHigherHighest
Ease of PrintingDifficultModerateDifficult
UV ResistanceHighModerateHigh

While TPE and TPU offer significant flexibility and durability, TPC sets itself apart with even higher UV resistance and thermal stability, positioning it as the premium option for applications that demand the utmost in environmental endurance and mechanical performance.

FAQ´s about TPC Filament

How does TPC differ from other flexible filaments like TPE and TPU?

TPC offers superior chemical resistance, higher thermal stability, and greater durability, making it ideal for even more demanding applications.

Can TPC be used with any 3D printer?

While TPC can be technically printed on many 3D printers, those equipped with a direct drive extruder and capable of fine-tuning print settings are more likely to achieve successful results due to TPC’s flexible nature.

How to prevent printing issues with TPC?

Reducing print speed, ensuring the filament is dry, and using a printer with a direct drive extruder can help minimize common issues such as jamming and stringing.

Is TPC material suitable for outdoor applications?

Yes, TPC’s high UV and chemical resistance make it exceptionally well-suited for outdoor use where flexibility and durability are required.

What applications are best suited for TPC?

TPC excels in applications requiring a combination of elasticity, impact resistance, chemical resistance, and thermal stability, such as industrial seals, automotive parts, and medical devices.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. Your price is the same regardless but you help us a lot.