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Mechanical characterization of the Poly lactic acid (PLA) composites prepared through the Fused Deposition Modelling process


Vinyas M, Athul S J, Harursampath D, Nguyen Thoi T

Source title: 
Materials Research Express, 6(10), 2019 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 

This research article focuses on developing biodegradable polymer composites for general - purpose engineering applications that can efficiently replace the existing polymeric materials and certain metals by their enhanced material properties such as tensile strength, biodegradability, hardness and other properties. Recent studies have placed Poly lactic acid (PLA) in a prime position for production of common commercial and engineering products due to its commendable mechanical properties coupled with biodegradability. Therefore, in this study, attempts are made to assess the influence of carbon fibers and nylon glass fibers on the overall mechanical properties of additive manufactured PLA composites prepared by Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). In addition to this, special attention has been paid to study the mechanical characteristics of the polymer blend of Glycol modified - Polyethylene teraphthalate (PETG) with PLA prepared using the same method. The mechanical properties for the materials were evaluated using the tensile test, Rockwell hardness test, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The experimental results reveal that in contrast to other polymers, the polymer blend of PLA + PETG would be an ideal choice due to its superior mechanical properties that can prove useful in various engineering applications. Therefore, the materials studied here can be used in the production of regular biodegradable commercial products like pens, cases, food containers, bottles, electronic packaging and other related products which when otherwise disposed can cause widespread discomfort to the delicate balance in the environment by polluting various aspects of nature. Thus, jeopardizing the health of various fauna and flora present in nature.