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J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2018, 2(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmmp2020029

Degradable Nanocomposites for Fused Filament Fabrication Applications

Applied Polymer Technologies Gateway, Materials Research Institute, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Athlone, N37 HD68 County Westmeath, Ireland
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Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract

There has been a substantial increase in the use and development of plastics over the last century. However, due to ever-diminishing petroleum feedstocks and growing concern for the environment, there has been a rise in the use of eco-friendly polymers affording similar properties to that of their depleting counterparts. Poly(ε-caprolactone) is one such polymer. This present study investigates the possibility of developing a degradable nanocomposite, suitable for fused filament fabrication, utilizing hot melt extrusion technology to blend poly(ε-caprolactone), poly(ethylene) oxide and the nanoclay halloysite at loadings of two and six weight percent. The extruded blends were characterized using common polymer testing techniques. The addition of poly(ε-caprolactone) to the poly(ethylene) oxide matrix provided a plasticizing effect which was apparent with the melt flow index and melting point of the blends reducing with an increase in poly(ε-caprolactone) content. Upon reinforcing the matrix with halloysite, there was a significant improvement in mechanical properties. The addition of halloysite significantly increased Young’s modulus 11% and 25% when the loading was two and six percent respectively. Furthermore, it was also possible to produce a filament with the desired properties, diameter 1.75 mm, for fused filament fabrication, with subsequent studies required to evaluate their printability. View Full-Text
Keywords: fused filament fabrication; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; hot melt extrusion; bioresorbable polymers; poly(ε-caprolactone); poly(ethylene) oxide; halloysite fused filament fabrication; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; hot melt extrusion; bioresorbable polymers; poly(ε-caprolactone); poly(ethylene) oxide; halloysite
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Healy, A.V.; Waldron, C.; Geever, L.M.; Devine, D.M.; Lyons, J.G. Degradable Nanocomposites for Fused Filament Fabrication Applications. J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2018, 2, 29.

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