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Open AccessArticle

Use of Thermal Black as Eco-Filler in Thermoplastic Composites and Hybrids for Injection Molding and 3D Printing Applications

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Polymer Bioproducts, Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Center, National Research Council Canada, 75 De Mortagne, Boucherville, QC J4B 6Y4, Canada
2
Cancarb Limited, 1702 Brier Park Crescent N.W., Medicine Hat, AB T1C 1T9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071517
Received: 16 January 2020 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites with Enhanched Properties)
Thermal black (TB) is one of the purest and cleanest forms of carbon black (CB) commercially available. TB is manufactured by the decomposition of natural gas in the absence of oxygen while the common furnace CB is derived from the burning of organic oil. TB has a larger particle size, a lower surface area, and lower level of particle aggregation, while being the most eco-friendly grade among the CB family. This study is the first-time evaluation of TB as filler in composites and hybrids based on thermoplastics such as polypropylene (PP), polyamide 6 (PA6), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). TB loadings in composites were varied from 1 up to 40 wt. % and, in hybrids, the TB was used in combination with carbon fibers (CFs) at total contents up to 20 wt. %. TB-containing composites and hybrids based on PA6 and ABS were also extruded in filaments, used in 3D printing, and the obtained 3D printed parts were characterized. TB provided a very high loadability in thermoplastics while preserving their viscosity and performance. TB can replace a fraction of expensive CFs in composites without important changes in the composites’ performance. The composites and hybrids exhibited electrical resistivity and good mechanical and thermal properties when compared to commercial compounds, while enabling significant cost savings. TB also showed to be an excellent coloring agent. TB proved to be an outstanding eco-filler for compounds to be used in injection molding and 3D printing technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal black; polypropylene composites; polyamide composites; acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene composites; polyphenylene sulfone composites; thermoplastic hybrids; injection molding; 3D printing thermal black; polypropylene composites; polyamide composites; acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene composites; polyphenylene sulfone composites; thermoplastic hybrids; injection molding; 3D printing
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Mihai, M.; Stoeffler, K.; Norton, E. Use of Thermal Black as Eco-Filler in Thermoplastic Composites and Hybrids for Injection Molding and 3D Printing Applications. Molecules 2020, 25, 1517.

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