Production and 3D printing processing of bio-based thermoplastic filament
Research Unit of Advanced, Composite, Nano Materials & Nanotechnology, National Technical University of Athens, School of Chemical Engineering, 9 Heroon Polytechniou St., Zographos, Athens
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Accepted: 22 October 2016
In this work, an extrusion-based 3D printing technique was employed for processing of biobased blends of Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA) with low-cost kraft lignin. In Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printing process, objects are built in a layer-by-layer fashion by melting, extruding and selectively depositing thermoplastic fibers on a platform. These fibers are used as building blocks for more complex structures with defined microarchitecture, in an automated, cost-effective process, with minimum material waste. A sustainable material consisting of lignin biopolymer blended with poly(lactic acid) was examined for its physical properties and for its melt processability during the FFF process. Samples with different PLA/lignin weight ratios were prepared and their mechanical (tensile testing), thermal (Differential Scanning Calorimetry analysis) and morphological (optical and scanning electron microscopy, SEM) properties were studied. The composition with optimum properties was selected for the production of 3D-printing filament. Three process parameters, which contribute to shear rate and stress imposed on the melt, were examined: extrusion temperature, printing speed and fiber’s width varied and their effect on extrudates’ morphology was evaluated. The mechanical properties of 3D printed specimens were assessed with tensile testing and SEM fractography.
Key words: 3D Printing processability assessment / Fused filament fabrication / Additive manufacturing / Biobased 3D printing filament
© E. Gkartzou et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.