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Shelf Life of Materials


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Posted · Shelf Life of Materials

I have started 3-D printing with a UMS5 Pro Bundle at work. I currently have 6 materials in the Material Station but need to print another material/add a spool of the same as I near the end of the original spool. What is the shelf life of all the UM materials? I currently have tough PLA, ABS, TPU 95A, Nylon, CPE+, and PETG in the Material Station. What is the best material to remove that won't get bad from sitting in the open? I do have PVA but have not opened it yet. I believe I had read that Nylon or ABS does not like siting in the open. Any information would be helpful. Thanks

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    Posted · Shelf Life of Materials

    When I am not printing, I store all my materials in a closed plastic box with a big bag of dessicant. Use one with blue/pink indicator, so you can see when it needs drying (=by putting it in an oven at low temp).


    Nylon is known to get too moist in only a couple of hours. It should be dried prior to printing, and then be printed from a dry-box. Idem for PVA. (I don't have a material station, so I don't know if that incorporates a dry-box functionality?)


    For PLA and PET: in real life I haven't seen too much degradation when sitting in the open, although theoretically they could suffer a bit from hydrolysis. So I store them in a sealed box with dessicant too, just to be safe.


    If a material is moist, just storing it in a box with dessicant is not enough: it needs warmth (but well below the glass transition temperature where it becomes soft) to shake water molecules loose.


    Dessicant: available in auto-shops, for drying car- and caravan-interiors in winter. When the blue dot changes to pink, it is too moist and needs drying.



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