You are here: Home » News-IANS » Science-Tech
Business Standard

Plants can replace polymers for 3-D printing

IANS  |  New York 

Plants could be a renewable and biodegradable alternative to the polymers currently used in 3-D printing materials, researchers have found.

A new paper, published in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, found that cellulose might become an abundant material to print with.

"Cellulose is the most important component in giving wood its mechanical properties. And because it is so inexpensive, it is biorenewable, biodegradable and also very chemically versatile, it is used in a lot of products," said Sebastian Pattinson, lead author of a paper, from Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT).

"Cellulose and its derivatives are used in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, as food additives, building materials, clothing -- all sorts of different areas. And a lot of these kinds of products would benefit from the kind of customisation that additive manufacturing [3-D printing] enables," Pattinson added.

When heated, cellulose thermally decomposes before it becomes flowable, partly because of the hydrogen bonds that exist between the cellulose molecules. The intermolecular bonding also makes high-concentration cellulose solutions too viscous to easily extrude.

"We found that the strength and toughness of the parts we got... was greater than many commonly used materials for 3-D printing, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA)," he said.

Cellulose acetate is already widely available as a commodity product. In bulk, the material is comparable in price to that of thermoplastics used for injection molding and it's much less expensive than the typical filament materials used for 3-D printing.

--IANS

sku/vgu/vt

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, March 05 2017. 17:36 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU