Fabrication of Polylactide Nanocomposite Filament Using Melt Extrusion and Filament Characterization for 3D Printing



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Fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology uses thermoplastic filament for layer by layer fabrication of objects. To make functional objects with desired properties, composite filaments are required in the FDM. In this thesis, less expensive mesoporous Nano carbon (NC) and carbon nanotube (CNT) infused in Polylactide (PLA) thermoplastic filaments were fabricated to improve the electrical properties and maintain sufficient strength for 3D printing. Solution blending was used for nanocomposite fabrication and melt extrusion was employed to make cylindrical filaments. Mechanical and electrical properties of 1 to 20 wt% of NC and 1 to 3 wt% of CNT filaments were investigated and significant improvement of conductivity (3.76 S/m) and sufficient yield strength (35MPa) were obtained. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images exhibited uniform dispersion of nanoparticles in polymer matrix and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results showed no significant changes in the glass transition temperature (Tg) for all the compositions. Perspective uses of this filament are for fabrication of electrical wires in 3D printed robots, drones, prosthetics, orthotics and others.


Winner of the 2018 Best Dissertation prize in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Three-dimensional printing, Nanocomposites (Materials), Polylactic acid, Thermoplastics



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