Optimization of the filler concentration on fused filament fabrication 3d printed polypropylene with titanium dioxide nanocomposites
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMaterials. 2021, 14 (11), . 10.3390/ma14113076
Polypropylene (PP) is an engineered thermoplastic polymer widely used in various applications. This work aims to enhance the properties of PP with the introduction of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) as nanofillers. Novel nanocomposite filaments were produced at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 wt.% filler concentrations, following a melt mixing extrusion process. These filaments were then fed to a commercially available fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printer for the preparation of specimens, to be assessed for their mechanical, viscoelastic, physicochemical, and fractographic properties, according to international standards. Tensile, flexural, impact, and microhardness tests, as well as dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), Raman, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), melt flow volume index (MVR), and atomic force microscopy (AFM), were conducted, to fully characterize the filler concentration effect on the 3D printed nanocomposite material properties. The results revealed an improvement in the nanocomposites properties, with the increase of the filler amount, while the microstructural effect and processability of the material was not significantly affected, which is important for the possible industrialization of the reported protocol. This work showed that PP/TiO2 can be a novel nanocomposite system in AM applications that the polymer industry can benefit from.