Novel PLA Blends for 3-D Printing
The bioplastics specialist FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, Willich, Germany, and Helian Polymers, Venlo, the Netherlands, a leading provider of 3-D printing filaments, are cooperating on the development of novel PLA blends for 3-D printing. The initial results and applications of this collaboration will be shown at this year’s Composites Europe exhibition.
Bioplastics such as PLA are particularly suitable for the FDM process (Fused Deposition Modeling), as they have a relatively narrow melt window at low temperatures. Furthermore, the low processing temperature results in easier control of the printer and simplifies the regulation of the printing process. When compared to conventional ABS, which is generally used currently, the printing accuracy is also improved. In addition, when ABS is processed, styrene vapors could be released with resulting, and as yet unknown, health consequences. Here, the bioplastic PLA offers an alternative which is not hazardous to health.
However, a significant disadvantage of unmodified PLA is its brittleness and low impact strength. As a consequence the quality of the finished product is adversely affected. With its new generation of PLA based filament formulations, the cooperation partners satisfy the requirement for an optimized material quality along with improved processing. With their comprehensive product portfolio, both development partners will steadily expand the applications and markets for PLA in 3-D printing.
Colorfabb are able to supply filaments in a wide variety of colors. Their product range includes the recently developed design materials reinforced with natural fibers namely ’woodFill Fine‘ and ’BambooFill‘. These two wood-fiber-reinforced grades (‘woodFill Fine‘ and the bamboo-fiber-reinforced grade ‘BambooFill’) enable the manufacture of components with a unique wood appearance and distinctive feel. Compared to conventional wood, there are virtually no limits to design freedom. This freedom of design enables designers and architects, as well as private users, to work with new creative options.
FKuR - Kunststoff GmbH
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