Hand in hand with CIPRES GmbH and Thies GmbH & Co. focused on the production of a dyeing machine for the treatment of additive manufactured polyamide components. Thies has developed a highly productive, industrial machine named eCOLOR Type 1/350/1.
eCOLOR has been developed for the treatment of Additive Manufactured parts, e.g. serial components, spare parts and/ or functional prototypes. It offers excellent dyeing results at highest productivity and reproducibility rates.
The dyeing machine is able to run at operating temperatures of up to 140 °C and at maximum 5bar operating pressure. With a packing diameter of 310 mm and packing height of 500 mm, the basic machine is designed to cover standard production capacities up to 37 liters. eCOLOR is further equipped with a flexible loading system for small (8 ltr.), medium (19 ltr.) or large (31 ltr.) batch sizes. Optimizing all stages of the dyeing process, including pre- and post- treatments, the frequency inverter driven pump allows an accurate and economic adjustment of the liquor flow as well as of the flow direction (in/out – out/in).
eCOLOR processes on an industrial scale with perfect process reliability as the machine is equipped with a state-of the art controller to monitor each step of the operation. With the user- friendly control software reproducible and constant dyeing results can be achieved. Then, each process step can be exactly defined and optimized according to the individual technical and/ or application- oriented needs.
Aiming for a high reproducibility as well as for a reduction of the operating costs and the environmental impact, dyes and chemicals can be precisely adapted. Thies machines are manufactured to comply with pressure vessel codes and safety regulations of the operating sites, e.g. DGRL, ASME, etc.
Only a few companies know how to color with dyeing machines. The eCOLOR Type 1/350/1 works fully automatically, saves time, energy, water, colors and thus is sustainable.
The advantages of the dyeing machine are the large color scale, high lightfastness in all color shades, wet fastness and high color fastness in the various types of polyamide. They do not bleach in chlorine water, benzine, citric acid and strong detergents. The colored components have good abrasion resistance, scrub resistance and remain dimensionally stable. By the dyeing machine, the color properties of brilliant to matt can develop.
The idea of dyeing originally white components or prototypes opened up the possibility of producing small series and end products from 3D printed components.
To accurately calculate the amount of dye, the area of the components is taken from the file and the total area of all components that need to be colored is added. The required amount of paint is minimal and is dissolved with hot water. This solution is then added to the already prepared water in the dyeing plant. The system specifies exactly how the work steps are to be carried out. The components to be colored are located in a separate, tightly closed container, where they are dyed at 110 °C and have a pressure of approx. 5 bar. The dyeing machine is mainly used for serial parts. Dyeing takes between 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the dye.
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