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Production and assessment of Poly(Lactic Acid) matrix composites reinforced with regenerated cellulose fibres for fused deposition modelling

Additive manufacturing can be a valuable tool to process polymeric composites reinforced with bio-based fibres, extending their use and opening new opportunities for more environmentally friendly materials. In this work, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) composites reinforced with regenerated cellulose fibres (lyocell) were processed into novel filaments and used for 3D printing. The Young's modulus of the filaments increased with the addition of fibres, but substantial porosity was observed in formulations with 20 and 30 wt% of fibre content. Nonetheless, the composites were easily printed, and the formulation with 10 wt% of fibres presented the best tensile properties of 3D printed samples with average tensile strength, Young's modulus, and strain at break of 64.2 MPa, 4.56 GPa, and 4.93%, respectively. It has been shown in this study that the printing process contributes to fibre alignment with small variations depending on the printing speed. Printed composite samples also had superior thermo-mechanical stability with a storage modulus up to 72 times higher than for neat PLA at 80 °C after the composite samples were heat-treated. In general, this work supports the potential use of regenerated cellulose fibres to reinforce PLA for 3D printing applications.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
This article has been published in the journal: Polymers. © 2022 The Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).