Naturally derived materials fit for 3D printing: Impact of biomass ash content on biocomposite properties
The presence of minerals called ash in plants makes little difference to the fitness of new naturally derived compound materials designed for additive manufacturing, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory-led team found.
When mixed with polylactic acid, fibers sourced from corn stover and switchgrass yielded biocomposites with satisfactory properties for 3D printing. In fact, the presence of ash spheres appeared to improve the flow of material for extrusion printing, said ORNL's Xianhui Zhao.
The research enables a use for high-ash biomass residue from biorefining that could lower the overall cost of producing sustainable fuels and materials.
The research is published in the journal Composites Part C: Open Access. Next steps include exploring more biomass materials and testing the composites in a large-volume printer at ORNL.
More information: Xianhui Zhao et al, Impact of biomass ash content on biocomposite properties, Composites Part C: Open Access (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomc.2022.100319
Provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory