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Polymers 2018, 10(5), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10050490

Optimisation of the Adhesion of Polypropylene-Based Materials during Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing

1
Polymer Processing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria
2
Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies, Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 915, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
3
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Ivana Lučića 1, Zagreb 10002, Croatia
4
Injection Moulding of Polymers, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract

Polypropylene (PP) parts produced by means of extrusion-based additive manufacturing, also known as fused filament fabrication, are prone to detaching from the build platform due to their strong tendency to shrink and warp. Apart from incorporating high volume fractions of fillers, one approach to mitigate this issue is to improve the adhesion between the first deposited layer and the build platform. However, a major challenge for PP is the lack of adhesion on standard platform materials, as well as a high risk of welding on PP-based platform materials. This study reports the material selection of build platform alternatives based on contact angle measurements. The adhesion forces, investigated by shear-off measurements, between PP-based filaments and the most promising platform material, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), were optimised by a thorough parametric study. Higher adhesion forces were measured by increasing the platform and extrusion temperatures, increasing the flow rate and decreasing the thickness of the first layer. Apart from changes in printer settings, an increased surface roughness of the UHMW-PE platform led to a sufficient, weld-free adhesion for large-area parts of PP-based filaments, due to improved wetting, mechanical interlockings, and an increased surface area between the two materials in contact. View Full-Text
Keywords: additive manufacturing; fused filament fabrication; adhesion; polypropylene; ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene; surface roughness; parametric study additive manufacturing; fused filament fabrication; adhesion; polypropylene; ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene; surface roughness; parametric study
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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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Spoerk, M.; Gonzalez-Gutierrez, J.; Lichal, C.; Cajner, H.; Berger, G.R.; Schuschnigg, S.; Cardon, L.; Holzer, C. Optimisation of the Adhesion of Polypropylene-Based Materials during Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing. Polymers 2018, 10, 490.

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