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FDM 3D Printing of Polymers Containing Natural Fillers: A Review of their Mechanical Properties

Department of Engineering, Università degli Studi di Ferrara, via Saragat 1, Ferrara 44122, Italy
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Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071094
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 28 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Behavior of Polymers)
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Abstract

As biodegradable thermoplastics are more and more penetrating the market of filaments for fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing, fillers in the form of natural fibers are convenient: They have the clear advantage of reducing cost, yet retaining the filament biodegradability characteristics. In plastics that are processed through standard techniques (e.g., extrusion or injection molding), natural fibers have a mild reinforcing function, improving stiffness and strength, it is thus interesting to evaluate whether the same holds true also in the case of FDM produced components. The results analyzed in this review show that the mechanical properties of the most common materials, i.e., acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and PLA, do not benefit from biofillers, while other less widely used polymers, such as the polyolefins, are found to become more performant. Much research has been devoted to studying the effect of additive formulation and processing parameters on the mechanical properties of biofilled 3D printed specimens. The results look promising due to the relevant number of articles published in this field in the last few years. This notwithstanding, not all aspects have been explored and more could potentially be obtained through modifications of the usual FDM techniques and the devices that have been used so far. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural fibers; biocomposites; 3D printing; fused deposition modeling; mechanical properties natural fibers; biocomposites; 3D printing; fused deposition modeling; mechanical properties
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Mazzanti, V.; Malagutti, L.; Mollica, F. FDM 3D Printing of Polymers Containing Natural Fillers: A Review of their Mechanical Properties. Polymers 2019, 11, 1094.

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