Effects of Different Polypropylene (PP)-Backbones in Aluminium Feedstock for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)

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Abstract

The current study presents the effect of the backbone as an important binder component on the mechanical, rheological, and thermal properties of Aluminium (Al) alloy feedstocks. A thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) main binder component was blended with either polypropylene (PP), grafted-maleic anhydride-PP (PPMA), or grafted-maleic anhydride-PPwax (PPMAwax) plus PP, as the backbone. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) tests were performed to investigate the thermal properties of binder systems and feedstocks. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to study the chemical interaction between the binder and the Al alloy. After making feedstock filaments, tensile tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and fused filament fabrication (FFF) printing were done. The results showed that although the PP printability was acceptable, the best mechanical properties and printed quality can be achieved by PPMA. TGA test showed that all binder systems in the feedstocks could be removed completely around 500 °C. From FTIR, the possibility of chemical reactions between Al alloy particles and maleic anhydride groups on the grafted PP backbone could explain the better dispersion of the mixture and higher mechanical properties. Tensile strength in PP samples was 3.4 MPa which was improved 1.8 times using PPMA as the backbone.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3007
Number of pages18
JournalPolymers
Volume15.2023
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2023

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