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Open AccessArticle

Mechanical Properties and Applications of Recycled Polycarbonate Particle Material Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing

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Department of Material Science and Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
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Department of Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
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Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, 00076 Espoo, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101642
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Manufacturing Processes and Systems)
Past work has shown that particle material extrusion (fused particle fabrication (FPF)/fused granular fabrication (FGF)) has the potential for increasing the use of recycled polymers in 3D printing. This study extends this potential to high-performance (high-mechanical-strength and heat-resistant) polymers using polycarbonate (PC). Recycled PC regrind of approximately 25 mm2 was 3D printed with an open-source Gigabot X and analyzed. A temperature and nozzle velocity matrix was used to find useful printing parameters, and a print test was used to maximize the output for a two-temperature stage extruder for PC. ASTM type 4 tensile test geometries as well as ASTM-approved compression tests were used to determine the mechanical properties of PC and were compared with filament printing and the bulk virgin material. The results showed the tensile strength of parts manufactured from the recycled PC particles (64.9 MPa) were comparable to that of the commercial filament printed on desktop (62.2 MPa) and large-format (66.3 MPa) 3D printers. Three case study applications were investigated: (i) using PC as a rapid molding technology for lower melting point thermoplastics, (ii) printed parts for high temperature applications, and (iii) printed parts for high-strength applications. The results show that recycled PC particle-based 3D printing can produce high-strength and heat-resistant products at low costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; distributed manufacturing; polymers; polycarbonate; recycling; waste plastic; extruder; upcycle; circular economy 3D printing; additive manufacturing; distributed manufacturing; polymers; polycarbonate; recycling; waste plastic; extruder; upcycle; circular economy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Reich, M.J.; Woern, A.L.; Tanikella, N.G.; Pearce, J.M. Mechanical Properties and Applications of Recycled Polycarbonate Particle Material Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing. Materials 2019, 12, 1642.

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