Located in Les Sorinières in premises covering 1,200m2, the Kimya additive manufacturing site is composed of multiple different areas to offer producers around the globe 3D printing materials adapted to their specific requirements. The areas include a production unit with 3 extrusion lines and a printing workshop. The Kimya Factory boasts some twenty 3D printers and a characterization lab, named the Kimya Lab, which performs a range of tests and inspections on raw materials, 3D printed parts and the filaments of the range. Equipped with top-of-the range facilities, the lab is able to conduct in-depth materials characterization, offering industrial customers high-quality products that meet their specific requirements and constraints.
The characterization lab is currently operated by a small team of between 2 and 4 individuals. Since its creation, the group has made multiple investments in equipment, with 10 machines currently available. All items of equipment have a different function in order to cover the full range of tests. They are also the type of machines found in the plastics processing sector. The particular feature of the characterization lab is that testing is conducted using printed test pieces, not injected as is usually the case. For information: a test piece is a sample taken from a batch under specified conditions in order to be subjected to a suite of tests.
The roles of the characterization laboratory
Firstly, the lab analyzes all the raw materials it receives, whether polymer resins, dyestuffs (pigments, master batches, colorants) or various additives. For example, the teams can test the material’s fluidity, its moisture content or its density – both in air and water. Thanks to the different tests, Kimya can choose from different materials in accordance with the desired property.
Once the raw materials have been checked, Kimya can produce the filament on its extrusion lines, which will also be tested using the available equipment. For example, the teams determine the percentage mineral content by carbonizing the organic material in a muffle furnace. The second role of the lab, therefore, is to inspect the filaments.
The Kimya characterization lab also conducts tests on printed parts, in this case test pieces. At this stage the traction, flexion and impact resistance of the filament is checked, followed by further inspection of the color of the material. Lastly, the Kimya Lab offers its customers a number of characterization services.
Mylène Guittard, Formulation and Materials Engineer, explains: “The Kimya Lab ultimately enables us to provide producers around the globe with the right materials. We have all the equipment required for material characterization, regardless of its form. We can also perform additional analysis with other equipment at the Armor Expertise Center in La Chevrolière.”
Do you need any materials adapted to your specific requirements and constraints? Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about our range of services.