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Development of sustainable filaments for 3D Printing from PLA and kraft lignin

Grant number: 20/00876-7
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: September 01, 2020 - May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Júlia Rocha Gouveia
Grantee:Júlia Rocha Gouveia
Company:Entropic Solutions - Tecnologias a Partir de Biomassa Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de artefatos de material plástico não especificados anteriormente
City: São Caetano do Sul
Associated scholarship(s):20/12100-3 - Development of renewable 3D printing filaments employing modified-Kraft lignin and PLA, BP.TT
20/11960-9 - Developmento of renewable 3D printing filaments employing modified-Kraft lignin and PLA, BP.PIPE


Design flexibility, reduced material waste and the possibility of producing complex structures are some of the characteristics that have been increasing the 3D printing market. On the other hand, the number of materials suitable for this technique is still limited, due to the restricted set of properties necessary for the process, since the material must have specific mechanical and rheological properties, when in the solid and molten states, respectively. In addition, the main materials used in this function are usually of fossil origin, which goes against the current trend of searching for materials of renewable origin. Meanwhile, the development of materials from lignin has intensified, due to the start of operations of industrial plants of this polymer in Brazil and in the world. Annually, 50 million tons of lignin are generated as a by-product of the production of paper and cellulose, with only 2% of this amount being used in applications with high added-value. Recent studies have shown that the incorporation of lignin in polymeric composites increases its mechanical strength and stiffness. Therefore, the use of lignin as a raw material for the production of polymeric composite filaments for 3D printing appears as an opportunity to optimize properties, promote the revaluation of this abundant renewable resource in a growing market and looking for materials with greater mechanical resistance, stability and cost reduction. In this context, this project aims to enable the use of lignin in high concentration in composite with poly(lactic acid) (PLA), material already used for 3D printing and also of renewable origin. As the compatibility between lignin and PLA is relatively low, three chemical modifications of lignin have been proposed that should reduce this limitation. At the end of this project, it is expected to find the best method of modifying lignin for the manufacture of renewable filament for 3D printing with properties similar to the materials that are already commercialized, thus proving the feasibility of developing this innovative product. (AU)

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