At the beginning of March 2020, Grupa Azoty S.A. (The Azoty Group) – one of the largest chemical companies in Europe, announced its entry into the 3D printing industry, presenting its proprietary line of 3D printing materials used in FDM / FFF technology.
In addition to basic and technical filaments, the manufacturer also introduced antibacterial materials, which due to their properties can find a number of applications, especially in 3D printing of everyday products, where the priority is to prevent the development of microorganisms on their surface (e.g. prints intended for children, such as toys or toy components, details in contact with a large number of people, e.g. door handles, switches, or details working in an environment with high susceptibility to microbial development, e.g. high humidity).
Models created in 3D technology, both prototypes and functional details, due to the layered construction can create a favorable environment for the development of bacteria and fungi. At the same time, making them from an antibacterial filament means that the multiplication of bacteria and fungi is limited, and therefore the risk of spreading germs to users is significantly reduced.
The antibacterial properties of materials are currently a particularly desirable feature. The possibility of using them for 3D printing of everyday objects, e.g. handles for handles, reduces the risk of settling and transferring unwanted microorganisms, thus ensuring safety of use.
The Tarfuse® AM line of antibacterial filaments includes a number of materials, each of which has a different base material:
- Tarfuse® PLA AM – thermoplastic material, created on the basis of the popular PLA polymer, characterized by antibacterial properties. Dedicated to 3D printing hobby elements, demonstration and prototypes. Tarfuse® PLA AM is approved for contact with food in accordance with Regulation (EU) 10/2011 and subsequent additions.
- Tarfuse® PA AM – a group of glass fiber reinforced filaments, flame retardant and antistatic. They are made of the highest quality polyamide 6, modified in such a way as to obtain the highest quality of produced material. The Tarfuse PA AM filament group is dedicated to the production of prototypes of new construction products, for the production of small-lot technical details – functional, for training and teaching purposes. At the same time, the material is approved for food contact, just like Tarfuse® PLA AM.
- Tarfuse® ABS AM – a material based on high-quality ABS plastic with antibacterial properties. Created for printing prototypes, functional and technical parts.
The manufacturer made sure that his materials meet all necessary safety standards. Antibacterial additives used in Tarfuse AM filaments are authorized in the European Union – they comply with the European Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR, Regulation (EU) 528/2012 and comply with the requirements of the American Environmental Protection Agency – Antimicrobial Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The antibacterial additives used are inscribed on the list of chemical compounds approved by OEKO-TEX, and additionally, they have FDA approval – US Food & Drug Agency and the approval of the Antimicrobial Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).