Natural fiber reinforced bioplastics designed especially for 3D printing

  • Modified PLA filaments for 3D printing
  • Easy processing & improved impact strength
  • FKuR & Helian Polymers at Composites Europe – #composites14

Bioplastics specialist FKuR and Helian Polymers, a leading provider of 3D printing filaments, cooperate on the development of tailor made PLA compounds for 3D printing, including bioplastics reinforced with natural fibers designed especially for 3D printing.

Bioplastics such as PLA are particularly suitable for the FDM process (Fused Deposition Modeling), as they have a relatively narrow melt window at low temperatures. Furthermore, the low processing temperature results in easier control of the printer and simplifies the regulation of the printing process. When compared to conventional ABS, which is generally used, the printing accuracy is also improved. In addition, when ABS is processed, styrene vapours could be released.

Here the bioplastic PLA offers an alternative which is not hazardous to health. However, a significant disadvantage of unmodified PLA is its brittleness and low impact strength. As a consequence the quality of the finished product is affected. With the new generation of PLA based filament formulations, the cooperation partners meet the requirement for improved impact strength along with easy processing.

The initial results and applications of this collaboration are shown at this year’s Composites Europe exhibition. The highlight at the booth will be live 3D printing of natural fiber reinforced bioplastics.

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