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Degradable Nanocomposites for Fused Filament Fabrication Applications

Applied Polymer Technologies Gateway, Materials Research Institute, Athlone Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Athlone, N37 HD68 County Westmeath, Ireland
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J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2018, 2(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmmp2020029
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
There has been a substantial increase in the use and development of plastics over the last century. However, due to ever-diminishing petroleum feedstocks and growing concern for the environment, there has been a rise in the use of eco-friendly polymers affording similar properties to that of their depleting counterparts. Poly(ε-caprolactone) is one such polymer. This present study investigates the possibility of developing a degradable nanocomposite, suitable for fused filament fabrication, utilizing hot melt extrusion technology to blend poly(ε-caprolactone), poly(ethylene) oxide and the nanoclay halloysite at loadings of two and six weight percent. The extruded blends were characterized using common polymer testing techniques. The addition of poly(ε-caprolactone) to the poly(ethylene) oxide matrix provided a plasticizing effect which was apparent with the melt flow index and melting point of the blends reducing with an increase in poly(ε-caprolactone) content. Upon reinforcing the matrix with halloysite, there was a significant improvement in mechanical properties. The addition of halloysite significantly increased Young’s modulus 11% and 25% when the loading was two and six percent respectively. Furthermore, it was also possible to produce a filament with the desired properties, diameter 1.75 mm, for fused filament fabrication, with subsequent studies required to evaluate their printability. View Full-Text
Keywords: fused filament fabrication; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; hot melt extrusion; bioresorbable polymers; poly(ε-caprolactone); poly(ethylene) oxide; halloysite fused filament fabrication; additive manufacturing; 3D printing; hot melt extrusion; bioresorbable polymers; poly(ε-caprolactone); poly(ethylene) oxide; halloysite
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Healy, A.V.; Waldron, C.; Geever, L.M.; Devine, D.M.; Lyons, J.G. Degradable Nanocomposites for Fused Filament Fabrication Applications. J. Manuf. Mater. Process. 2018, 2, 29.

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