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What materials, available as filaments for use in FDM printing, are known to be the most physically and chemically inert? In particular, stability (not necessarily simultaneously) in the presence of the following should be assumed:

  • pH 0-14
  • oxidizing agents (ozone, permanganates, dichromates, acidic hydrogen peroxide)
  • organic solvents (particularly acetone, methanol, toluene, formamide)
  • temperature up to 160 degrees Celsius
  • pressures between ~10^-7 torr and ~2 bar
  • oxygen or argon plasma
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Tough set of requirements and definately pushing into the professional domain. I would recommend checking out ULTEM 1010 Resin which is similar to PEEK but has a higher glass transition temp of 215 °C. Check out the spec sheet from Stratsys.

I hope this helps. :-)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for bringing polyetherimide to my attention! I will study its properties further. $\endgroup$ – user001 Oct 14 '16 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ You're very welcome. :-) $\endgroup$ – Chris Thompson Oct 14 '16 at 0:16
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PEEK, a plastic known for its superior chemical and physical resilience (http://www.zeusinc.com/materials/peek/chemical-resistance-chart-peek), has been successfully used for filament-based printing (https://3dprint.com/52713/indmatec-peek-fdm-printing-filament/). However, it is unlikely to be an option on most existing printers given its high melting temperature (around 343 degrees Celsius, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEEK). Though it does not meet all the criteria proposed (for instance, its glass transition temperature is around 143 degrees Celsius), overall it is a fairly good choice.

Teflon, an obvious choice, unfortunately has a decomposition temperature very close to its melting temperature, and appears to be unsuitable for extrusion.

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    $\begingroup$ Also worth noting that Teflon produces somewhat nasty fumes over about 149C, and quite dangerous by-products when it decomposes at 232C. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_fume_fever $\endgroup$ – TextGeek Oct 28 '16 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @TextGeek: Citation needed for 149°C. I've never seen a credble claim for dangers at such a low temperature, and it's contrary to all use in cooking, which is well over 200°C. The standard claim I've seen for where decomposition begins is over 250°C. $\endgroup$ – R.. Jul 1 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @R. -- It's been a couple years, but I believe I got those numbers from the Wikipedia page I linked. But the numbers there now are more like what you're saying, and I checked a few other sites and they agree. So I agree it should be safe below 250C or so. $\endgroup$ – TextGeek Jul 1 at 17:19

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