Plant 3D printing materials will replace petroleum products_PTJ Blog

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Plant 3D printing materials will replace petroleum products


3D printing continues to develop, and new 3D printers and new 3D printing materials will be regularly unveiled. Today, we have chosen a brand new 3D printing material, which may surprise you. It uses plants as 3D printing materials, and this innovative application will be adopted soon.

The perfect solution for manufacturing lignin composites

This new material discovery came from Tennessee, USA, and was produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The laboratory is particularly interested in 3D printing. After various experiments, they developed a new type of printable material made of plants. This special material is composed of rubber, carbon fiber, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and lignin (a complex organic polymer). Lignin is present in the formation of cell walls, especially in wood and bark. This material has great rigidity and is not perishable.

Plant 3D printing materials will replace petroleum products

These materials were chosen to make this lignin-based material because rubber and ABS can bring tensile strength, while carbon fiber provides greater toughness and strength, which is also easier to print on the entire composite material.

Plant 3D printing, a new challenge facing researchers

3D printing is always developing further. To develop and use a new material, the process is difficult, and it will become a challenge that many developers need to face. But ORNL researchers completely accepted this challenge and found a solution.

The ORNL team hopes to use composite materials for industrial-scale production, but because this material is not suitable for all manufacturing technologies, it can be very complicated. In fact, compression molding and casting are the most commonly used techniques in organic polymers. They are looking for the best manufacturing process for this new composite material. How about 3D printing? The team decided to use an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer to create its parts based on plant-based materials. By mixing lignin with ABS, rubber and carbon fiber, 3D printable materials can be made. This is currently the only way to print plant materials, and at the same time, new plant 3D printing methods will appear in the next few years!

Plant materials, substitutes based on petroleum materials

In fact, this 3D printable lignin can replace petroleum-based materials. With the same mechanical properties, it can even be better than traditional plastics. This lignin complex is a by-product based on petroleum materials. This organic polymer can achieve better adhesion between the ABS layers, making the product more durable.

Researcher Amit Naskar from ORNL explained that the development of this material took 5 years, but they are still studying this lignin-based material to make it more resistant. The first experiment is very promising for the 3D printing industry.

All different industries have a willingness to create new environmental solutions. Scientists and researchers have thought about environmental protection issues such as avoiding pollution and reducing waste. And plant 3D printing is indeed a perfect technology for green manufacturing, renewable and environmentally friendly!

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