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Polymers (Basel). 2018 May 2;10(5). pii: E490. doi: 10.3390/polym10050490.

Optimisation of the Adhesion of Polypropylene-Based Materials during Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing.

Author information

1
Polymer Processing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria. martin.spoerk@unileoben.ac.at.
2
Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies, Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 915, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium. martin.spoerk@unileoben.ac.at.
3
Polymer Processing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria. joamin.gonzalez-gutierrez@unileoben.ac.at.
4
Polymer Processing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria. christof.lichal@unileoben.ac.at.
5
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Ivana Lučića 1, Zagreb 10002, Croatia. hrvoje.cajner@fsb.hr.
6
Injection Moulding of Polymers, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria. gerald.berger@unileoben.ac.at.
7
Polymer Processing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria. stephan.schuschnigg@unileoben.ac.at.
8
Centre for Polymer and Material Technologies, Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering, Ghent University, Technologiepark 915, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium. ludwig.cardon@ugent.be.
9
Polymer Processing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Otto Gloeckel-Straße 2, 8700 Leoben, Austria. clemens.holzer@unileoben.ac.at.

Abstract

Polypropylene (PP) parts produced by means of extrusion-based additive manufacturing, also known as fused filament fabrication, are prone to detaching from the build platform due to their strong tendency to shrink and warp. Apart from incorporating high volume fractions of fillers, one approach to mitigate this issue is to improve the adhesion between the first deposited layer and the build platform. However, a major challenge for PP is the lack of adhesion on standard platform materials, as well as a high risk of welding on PP-based platform materials. This study reports the material selection of build platform alternatives based on contact angle measurements. The adhesion forces, investigated by shear-off measurements, between PP-based filaments and the most promising platform material, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), were optimised by a thorough parametric study. Higher adhesion forces were measured by increasing the platform and extrusion temperatures, increasing the flow rate and decreasing the thickness of the first layer. Apart from changes in printer settings, an increased surface roughness of the UHMW-PE platform led to a sufficient, weld-free adhesion for large-area parts of PP-based filaments, due to improved wetting, mechanical interlockings, and an increased surface area between the two materials in contact.

KEYWORDS:

additive manufacturing; adhesion; fused filament fabrication; parametric study; polypropylene; surface roughness; ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene

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