- Cellulose may soon become a renewable and biodegradable alternative to the polymers that are currently used in 3-D printing materials, a new study has found.
More Details on Cellulose:
- “Cellulose is the most important component in giving wood its mechanical properties.
- And because it is inexpensive, bio-renewable, biodegradable and also chemically versatile, it is used in a lot of products.
- “Cellulose and its derivatives are used in pharmaceuticals, medical devices as food additives, building materials, clothing, all sorts of different areas.
- And a lot of these kinds of products would benefit from the kind of customisation that additive manufacturing — 3D printing enables.
- When heated, cellulose thermally decomposes before it becomes flowable.
- The intermolecular bonding also makes high-concentration cellulose solutions too viscous to easily extrude, researchers said.
- To avoid this problem, researchers chose to work with cellulose acetate — a material that is easily made from cellulose and is already widely produced and readily available.
- Using cellulose acetate the number of hydrogen bonds in this material was reduced by the acetate groups.
- Cellulose acetate can be dissolved in acetone and extruded through a nozzle.
- As the acetone quickly evaporates, the cellulose acetate solidifies in place.
- A subsequent optional treatment replaces the acetate groups and increases the strength of the printed parts.“After we 3D print, we restore the hydrogen bonding network through a sodium hydroxide treatment.