Fabrication of hydrophobic PLA filaments for additive manufacturing

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Rajakaruna, Rajakaruna A. D. N. V.
Subeshan, Balakrishnan
Asmatulu, Eylem

Rajakaruna, R.A.D.N.V., Subeshan, B. & Asmatulu, E. Fabrication of hydrophobic PLA filaments for additive manufacturing. J Mater Sci 57, 8987–9001 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-022-07217-5


There is an ever-greater need for self-cleaning and water-repelling properties of hydrophobic materials at this time in history, mainly due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the fabrication processes used to create hydrophobic materials are typically time-consuming and costly. Thus, this study aims to create hydrophobic materials based on low-cost manufacturing. In this study, polylactic acid (PLA) was mixed with various concentrations of hexadecyltrimethoxysilane (HDTMS) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) with the aid of solvents, chloroform, and acetone, through the solvent casting and melt extrusion process, which is capable of producing hydrophobic PLA filaments suitable for additive manufacturing (AM). Water contact angle (WCA) measurements were performed to verify the improved hydrophobicity of PLA/HDTMS/PTFE filaments. According to the results, it was discovered that the best filament WCAs were achieved with 2 g (10 wt%) of PLA, 0.2 ml of HDTMS, and 1 ml of PTFE (2 g PLA ? 0.2 ml HDTMS ? 1 ml PTFE), producing an average WCA of 131.6 and the highest WCA of 132.7. These results indicate that adding HDTMS and PTFE to PLA significantly enhances filament hydrophobicity. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) techniques were utilized to characterize the surface morphology, molecular interactions, and thermal decompositions of the prepared PLA/HDTMS/PTFE filaments. This study revealed that compared to 2 g of pure PLA filament, HDTMS and PTFE altered the microstructure of the filament. Its thermal degradation temperature was impacted, but the melting temperature was not. Therefore, the PLA/HDTMS/PTFE filament is good enough to be printed by the fused filament fabrication (FFF) AM process.

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This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2022.