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Unveiling the Differences: An In-Depth Analysis of Static Dissipative Resins

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Conference Abstract: Development of electrostatic discharge (ESD) safe materials for use in Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a complex process. One strategy to achieve the necessary surface and volume conductivity properties involves integrating a conductive filler into the resin. Typical fabrication methods for ESD safe parts include Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), Laser Sintering, and Multi Jet Fusion (MJF). Although FFF can produce large ESD safe components, these can possess a rough surface finish and may exhibit inconsistent surface conductivity. Laser Sintering-created parts often have a porous nature that decreases surface conductivity. While MJF crafted parts showcase strength and wear resistance, the ESD coating is applied on a line-of-sight basis, leading to an uncoated internal surface of the component. Vat photopolymerization (VP) emerges as the optimal option for fabricating components that demand smooth surface finishes and finer features. Despite this, VP options for ESD safe materials had been lacking until 2021.
By 2023, several specialty resin manufacturers had launched ESD safe resins designed for vat photopolymerization. Although these resins appear identical on the surface, this may not be the entirety of the story. This case study offers a comprehensive analysis of several available rigid, static-dissipative resins. The study underscores variations in dispersion quality, concentrations of carbon nanotubes, electrical assessment, and the consistency of static dissipative performance in the manufactured parts.