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What Is the Impact Strength of Glass-Filled Nylon Filament?

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It doesn’t take long on YouTube to find someone purporting that they know the best filament for you, and you just need to watch their video to find out why. I’ve seen several conclusions that it’s definitely Nylon Carbon Fiber, and at least one that claims this is bunk.

Well, there is no perfect filament, because each project is unique. But that being said, impact strength is a big concern a lot of the time, and perhaps you need to know the impact strength of glass-filled nylon filament. It so happens we have that information handy. Read on.

Why Is Filament Impact Strength Important?

Weightlifter or boxer? One can argue that both are strong, but only one must be tough. In the case of the boxer, as with Nylon Glass, that toughness is impact resistance. Boxers take a beating and must withstand this pounding. Nylon Glass is a filament that does the same. So think impact, not bending strength.

The Impact Strength of Glass-Filled Nylon

Now you’re asking yourself, “What makes glass-filled nylon filament better than regular nylon?” It’s the glass, stupid. The percentage of glass fibers used and nylon formulation determines the impact strength of Nylon Glass filament.

The test in question is the Notched Izod Impact test, in which a shirt is printed with filament and then beaten with a hammer. Note, you must be at least 50 years old to get that joke.

In truth, the test uses a hammer on a pendulum that is dropped from a specified angle from vertical and swings into the material in question, which has been notched to break cleanly. The impact, measured in Joules per square meter, is that which breaks the test material. Our technical data (available here) shows that Filamatrix Nylon Glass comes in at 154 J/m2, compared to 142 J/m2 for our Phoenix Nylon and 124 J/m2 for Nylon Carbon Fiber.

Wait! Nylon Glass is stronger than Nylon Carbon Fiber? No way! Yes, way. But not stronger; tougher! It handles the impact better; Nylon CF is about resistance to wear and load bearing abilities. Remember, each project has its own unique requirements. We’re here to see if Nylon Glass is the best fit for your project.

What Else Is There To Know?

Well, in engineering, there are always tradeoffs. One of the biggest disadvantages of Nylon Glass (like all nylons) is that it’s hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture. All plastic filaments (even PLA) absorb moisture, but some excel at it. Nylon anything is a champ at this, so drying before (and sometimes during) printing is a must.

On the other hand, Nylon Glass offers excellent chemical resistance. While under extreme conditions, this material won’t absorb any chemicals, oils, or solvents. Glass-filled nylon is also electrically insulated, making it ideal for electronic parts.

What Applications Use Glass-Filled Nylon?

The primary industries using glass-filled nylon are automotive, consumer goods, and electronics. Glass-filled materials have proven to be best based on their strength, durability, high-temperature resistance, and electrical insulation. In automotive applications, this filament is used to create durable parts, like brake fluid reservoirs and engine covers. Some uses for this filament in consumer goods involve appliance components.

Printing With Nylon Glass

Printing with Nylon Glass isn’t magic; it’s science. And you can do it. Just remember:

  • Read the technical literature. You need to know the proper hot end and bed temperatures.
  • Dry your filament before starting. Even if brand new, drying is a good idea.
  • Do NOT use a brass nozzle. It will not stand up to the glass particles.
  • Watch during printing for issues like poor adhesion, warping, and spitting. If you get these see our blog on Printing with Nylon Carbon Fiber on what to do. The same rules apply for Nylon Glass.
  • Still having problems? Contact us. We make our filament and we stand behind it.

Finding a manufacturer that knows their 3D printing materials is essential. Filamatrix’s engineers have been making filaments for decades. They offer everything from ordinary PLA to PETG and Nylon Kevlar, and of course, Nylon Glass. We have filaments for every industry and project—no matter how complex the geometry is—and our materials can help you achieve your project goals.

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