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PLA: Does color alter properties?

Posted by Wodahs 
PLA: Does color alter properties?
March 24, 2015 06:39AM

I've quite new to 3D printing in general, and I have to say that I know even less about the materials involved, but here goes:

I currently working with a Leapfrog FDM printer, using PLA plastic, and at some point I have to acquire more filament for the printer.

Now my question is: Does PLA have different mechanical properties (especially tensile strength) if they have different colors?

Halfway I'm asking because I came across something;


This is a very short part on the wiki about color influence on PLA, and while most of the things listed are in regard to how it actually look then some of it seems important; but I'm not sure how much.

" Black and Yellow don't snap when you bend it, unlikely for blue/green "
"The blue/green is more brittle in its filament form, but produces a very hard part when extruded."

I looked around some more on the internet, but this was the only source of info I could find about PLA and properties based on color.

I want to map out some very basic settings and what to expect when using them, but I don't know if color is a factor that might throw such guidelines off by having different properties.

So I ask you guys. Does color matter for this type of plastic?

Thanks in advance for any input

Re: PLA: Does color alter properties?
March 24, 2015 09:04AM
Color itself doesn't change the properties, rather the substance that was added to give it that color can change some properties but there's no guarantee on that. Brand A white may print at a cooler temperature that Brand A black, but Brand B white and black may print at the same temp. And either of Brand A may be stronger than Brand B regardless of color.

In other words, I don't think you can accurately predict or go by any rule of thumb that certain colors are strong, brittle, adhere better, need a higher temp, etc just by color alone. It's trial and error to find the perfect filament and settings for your printer.
Re: PLA: Does color alter properties?
March 24, 2015 09:10AM
I can not tell you whether or not color affects strength but I do know that Black is usually the worst if you buy cheap filament because they can hide things in the filament that may not be beneficial to printing.

I did find these links regarding pigment and strength:




I would assume most plastics are similar with respect to pigment and strength changes.

Please add your printer design to [reprap.org]
Re: PLA: Does color alter properties?
March 25, 2015 06:13AM
Alright. I almost figured that it would be something rather hard to account for with different suppliers and such.

However the links you provided tjb1 are quite interesting and pretty much what I was looking for.

Thanks for the input, i'll continue to lurk around in case someone else has more input too.

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