We live in a time when plastic and the issue of its use are increasingly becoming the subject of lively discussions. Increasing awareness and encouraging to reduce the share of non-biodegradable plastics in everyday life is not the only way to minimize the negative impact of plastic on our planet. Engineers at the University of Aarhus in Denmark are working on a proprietary method of producing filaments from recycled materials that meet all quality standards.

According to Mogens Hinge, an expert in the field of plastics involved in the project, the purpose of their project is not only to reuse materials, but also to set standards for filaments, so as to ensure high repeatability of 3D printed elements. Hinge himself describes the filament industry as a kind of “wild wild west” that requires normalization to the necessary standards. He compares the production of filament to the production of boards – their properties depend on the lot and part of the wood they were made of. Similarly, the strength or density of 3D printing material may depend not only on the chemical composition, but on each of the stages of the production process.

The expert emphasizes that the lack of standards has a negative impact not only on the quality of individual users’ prints, but even worse for companies. Based on the research of various materials, they noticed that often the recommended speed or temperature of 3D printing is not reflected in reality. The problems of 3D printers that occur when using filaments from reputable manufacturers confirm Hinge’s thesis about the low repeatability of subsequent production batches.

As part of their research, scientists are trying to create a filament with high stability, in accordance with previously established standards. What’s more, the material will be created from recyclable materials. Aage Vestergaard Larsen A / S is involved in the project, a Danish company specializing in the recycling of plastics that has plastic processing equipment necessary to conduct research. So far, EUR 84,000 has been allocated to research.

2020 is likely to be a breakthrough. Other countries declare reducing the carbon footprint, heading towards sustainable development and looking for methods to deal with the wave of plastics that is flooding us. The project implemented by Danish scientists fits in perfectly with the ecological trend proving that by using recycled materials you can get high quality of manufactured goods.

Source: www.centrumdruku3d.pl
Photo: by vincentag on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Magdalena Przychodniak
Editor-in-Chief of the 3D Printing Center. A biomedical engineer following the latest reports on bioprinting and 3D printing in modern medicine.

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