The era of Metal Replacement has just begun

What are the advantages of Metal Replacement?

  1. Structural lightening
  2. Elevated strength
  3. Lower volatility of raw material costs
     

Roboze 3D printing technology makes the most of this opportunity.

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Metal Replacement, why replace metals with super polymers and composites?

Metal Replacement means substituting metals with polymers: thanks to their mechanical, thermal and chemical properties, high performance polymers and composite materials can enable new extreme applications and replace metals such as bronze, brass, stainless steel and aluminum alloys. What happens when Metal Replacement meets innovative technology like Roboze 3D printing?

Advantages of Metal Replacement with Roboze

Thermal, electrical and acoustic insulation

Using polymers instead of metals means investing in a safer way of working. In fact, metals are electrically and thermally conductive: their volumetric resistivity is usually less than 10-5 Ohm/cm and their thermal conductivity can reach up to 400 W/(m*K) for copper. The volumetric resistivity of the polymers, on the other hand, is between 1012 and 1019 Ohm/cm, while the thermal conductivity is about 0.43 W/(m*K) for PEEK.

Reducing the weight of the parts means saving: in the aerospace and transport sectors, a reduced weight of the components leads to an increase in range and therefore reduced fuel consumption. The density of metals varies over a wide range: about 2.7 g / cm3 for aluminum alloys, 8 g / cm3 for stainless steel, and about 8.7 g/cm3 for brass. The density of the polymers, on the other hand, is very low and is between 0.9 and 1.5 g/cm3. PEEK is 84% lighter than SS316 and 52% lighter than 6063 aluminum.

The development of new composites, mainly those reinforced with carbon fibers, significantly increases the materials tensile strength. Roboze Carbon PEEK can have a tensile strength up to 138 MPa, even higher than that of some aluminum alloys such as Aluminum 6063 (breaking load of 130 MPa). This allows Carbon PEEK and Carbon PA to replace aluminum in the manufacturing industry.

Both metals, polymers and composites have high mechanical properties. Metals, however, have a high density unlike polymers and composites, a characteristic that results in a lower specific strength. Carbon PA, for example, has a specific strength of 98.6 MPa * cm3/g, which is more than double the specific strength of 6063 aluminum and almost a third higher than 316 stainless steel.

Common industrial metals melt at very high temperatures, standard polymers do not resist well at temperatures above 100 ° C, while high-performance polymers and composites can reach 280 ° C, allowing them to be used in a wider temperature range.

Metals can be subject to corrosion, while polymers resist a wide range of chemicals, both acids and bases. PEEK and its composites, for example, are extremely resistant to a wide range of chemicals such as fuels, lubricants, hydrogen, chlorine, seawater, ammonium nitrate and many others.

Why choose Metal Replacement?

  • Preservation and optimization of the required mechanical, thermal and chemical characteristics;
  • Improvement of dielectric and insulating characteristics, reduction of vibrations and noise;
  • Weight reduction (more than 50%): light products are more ergonomic and can improve worker safety;
  • Lower production costs, reduced lead time;
  • Greater freedom of design that can improve the efficiency of your parts;
  • Lower volatility of raw material costs, reduction of waste material.
     

Grow your business with Roboze Metal Replacement

Replacing metals is easier than ever with Roboze 3D printing solutions of high-performance polymers and composite materials. This developed technology combines the advantages of Metal Replacement and additive manufacturing. Roboze's specialization in Metal Replacement is a valuable tool that can easily be integrated into traditional manufacturing processes by 3D Printing small, customized batches and reducing costs and delivery times for finished products. Increased competitiveness, improved business reputation, productivity, and increased profits are all direct benefits experienced by companies that have integrated Roboze innovation in response to technological acceleration and competition on a global scale.

Find out how you too can experience these benefits!

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Applications and industries

Maritime

Metal Replacement in the nautical industry

In this sector, one of the most used metals is brass, as it is easy to work with due to its antibacterial nature and corrosion resistant qualities to sea water exposure. Thanks to their chemical resistance to sea water, PEEK and Carbon PEEK are fit to replace brass. Recently, as illustrated in a Roboze case study, a 3D printed gear made of Carbon PEEK was proven effective to replace leaded brass in a marine industry application.

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Manufacturing

Metal Replacement in the manufacturing industry

For mechanical properties, Carbon PA is able to replace aluminum jigs and devices in any workshop with a tensile strength up to 138 MPa. An example can be seen in drilling templates, which are usually made of aluminum and can now be replaced by Carbon PA.

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Chemical

Metal Replacement in the chemical industry

In this sector, stainless steel is widely used, thanks to its high chemical resistance. On the other hand, however, PEEK and Carbon PEEK can guarantee - in addition to excellent chemical resistance - weight reductions and better ergonomics. PEEK, for example, unlike steel, is able not to withstand corrosion when in contact with chloride, hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, or hydrogen sulphide.

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They have already choosen Roboze

Leonardo
Arianegruop
CNHi Industrial
General Electric
Dallara
Bosch
Bosch

Why are polymer-based materials replacing metals?

The plastics industry has made great strides in recent years by developing super polymers and composite materials that allow the production of strong and lightweight parts to replace metals.
Today, these polymers are revolutionizing various sectors: from aerospace to the transportation, where lightness means better performance, to the chemical and energy industries, where a polymer capable of working in difficult environments and at high temperatures can significantly reduce the need for maintenance.
According to the Global Metal Replacement Sales Market Report 2021, the global metal replacement market was valued at $109 billion in 2020 and will reach $170 billion by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.2% from 2022 through 2027.
More and more companies are looking to 3D printing associated with these materials as a valuable tool for complementing traditional manufacturing, in order to produce small, custom batches that allow reduced costs and lead times for their customers.

Metals:

  • subject to corrosion
  • heavy weight 
     

Polymers:

  • thermal and electrical insulation, acoustic; chemical and corrosion resistance
  • reduced weight and workability
     

The era of Metal Replacement has begun

The use of high-performance polymers and composites has made Metal Replacement possible in industrial production. Roboze 3D printing technology makes the most of this opportunity.

Print with Roboze

Who is Roboze?

Roboze designs and manufactures the world's most accurate 3D printers to produce parts with composite materials and super polymers to replace metals in industries with extreme working conditions. The main objective is to shape a new paradigm in digital production through a complete range of advanced 3D printers developed with the collaboration of the best world players, bringing Additive Manufacturing closer to the standards of traditional production.
Through its global manufacturing as a service network for the production of parts on demand and just in time, the Roboze 3D Parts division allows companies to reduce costs and time by shortening the steps of their supply chain and digitizing their inventory.