Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DSM Somos introduces WaterClear Ultra the clearest SL resin currently available
Article Type: New materials and equipments From: Pigment
Elgin, IL Building on their patented clear resin technology, leading rapid prototyping resin innovator DSM Somos has announced the commercial availability of WaterClearw Ultra, a highly clear, colorless stereolithography (SL) resin. In color comparison testing, WaterClear Ultra has been shown to be the clearest SL resin available on the market today.
Using a colorimeter (an instrument used to measure the amount of color and light able to pass through plastic), percent light transmission values were compared between WaterClear Ultra and various plastic samples, including a competitive polycarbonate-like SL resin and two commonly used clear engineering plastics: polycarbonate and acrylic. Transmission data showed WaterClear Ultra closely mirrored the behavior of the high-clarity acrylic and demonstrated higher clarity than the commercial grade polycarbonate sheet (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Percentage of light transmission values for waterclear ultra and various plastics
“Clear SL resins are in growing demand,” says Somos Marketing Manager Eva Montgomery. “Simply put, they translate into better looking prototype lenses, packaging materials, and more.”
In the automotive sector, b-test feedback on WaterClear Ultra includes assessments that the resin's clarity resembles that of milled acrylic in both thin and thick sections. Shawn Zindroski, President of Added Fabrication Studio Morpheus Prototypes, LLC (Torrance, CA), states, “In the past, clear SLA materials had a green or blue tint, or even appeared hazy. Now, with WaterClear Ultra, not only do the parts come out of the SLA machine with phenomenal clarity and excellent side walls, but in secondary finishing WaterClear Ultra sands and takes automotive clear coats extremely well.”
He continues, “Also in the past, headlight lenses and inner lenses needed to be made out of milled acrylic, but with WaterClear Ultra we can now make them via the stereolithography process. This reduces the turnaround time for my clients and opens the door for more clear part applications.”
Martin Colombo, Rapid Prototyping Manager of Accelerated Technologies Inc., states, “WaterClear Ultra parts are so clear, they can be used right off the machine in many cases saving finishing time and cost for my customers.”
WaterClear Ultra is now commercially available through DSM Somos directly, as well as through exclusive Somos distribution channels.