Next Article in Journal
In Vivo Regeneration of Large Bone Defects by Cross-Linked Porous Hydrogel: A Pilot Study in Mice Combining Micro Tomography, Histological Analyses, Raman Spectroscopy and Synchrotron Infrared Imaging
Next Article in Special Issue
Mechanical Properties of SLM-Printed Aluminium Alloys: A Review
Previous Article in Journal
High Breakdown Voltage and Low Buffer Trapping in Superlattice GaN-on-Silicon Heterostructures for High Voltage Applications
Previous Article in Special Issue
Comparative Quality Control of Titanium Alloy Ti–6Al–4V, 17–4 PH Stainless Steel, and Aluminum Alloy 4047 Either Manufactured or Repaired by Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS)
Article

Towards Distributed Recycling with Additive Manufacturing of PET Flake Feedstocks

1
re:3D Inc., 1100 Hercules STE 220, Houston, TX 77058, USA
2
Department of Material Science and Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
3
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
4
Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, 00076 Espoo, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(19), 4273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194273
Received: 28 July 2020 / Revised: 15 September 2020 / Accepted: 22 September 2020 / Published: 25 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing Materials and Their Applications)
This study explores the potential to reach a circular economy for post-consumer Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) packaging and bottles by using it as a Distributed Recycling for Additive Manufacturing (DRAM) feedstock. Specifically, for the first time, rPET water bottle flake is processed using only an open source toolchain with Fused Particle Fabrication (FPF) or Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF) processing rather than first converting it to filament. In this study, first the impact of granulation, sifting, and heating (and their sequential combination) is quantified on the shape and size distribution of the rPET flakes. Then 3D printing tests were performed on the rPET flake with two different feed systems: an external feeder and feed tube augmented with a motorized auger screw, and an extruder-mounted hopper that enables direct 3D printing. Two Gigabot X machines were used, each with the different feed systems, and one without and the latter with extended part cooling. 3D print settings were optimized based on thermal characterization, and both systems were shown to 3D print rPET directly from shredded water bottles. Mechanical testing showed the importance of isolating rPET from moisture and that geometry was important for uniform extrusion. The mechanical strength of 3D-printed parts with FPF and inconsistent flow is lower than optimized fused filament, but adequate for a wide range of applications. Future work is needed to improve consistency and enable water bottles to be used as a widespread DRAM feedstock. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymers; recycling; waste plastic; upcycle; circular economy; PET; additive manufacturing; distributed recycling; distributed manufacturing; 3D printing polymers; recycling; waste plastic; upcycle; circular economy; PET; additive manufacturing; distributed recycling; distributed manufacturing; 3D printing
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Little, H.A.; Tanikella, N.G.; J. Reich, M.; Fiedler, M.J.; Snabes, S.L.; Pearce, J.M. Towards Distributed Recycling with Additive Manufacturing of PET Flake Feedstocks. Materials 2020, 13, 4273. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194273

AMA Style

Little HA, Tanikella NG, J. Reich M, Fiedler MJ, Snabes SL, Pearce JM. Towards Distributed Recycling with Additive Manufacturing of PET Flake Feedstocks. Materials. 2020; 13(19):4273. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194273

Chicago/Turabian Style

Little, Helen A., Nagendra G. Tanikella, Matthew J. Reich, Matthew J. Fiedler, Samantha L. Snabes, and Joshua M. Pearce 2020. "Towards Distributed Recycling with Additive Manufacturing of PET Flake Feedstocks" Materials 13, no. 19: 4273. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13194273

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop