Experimental Investigation on Filament Extrusion using recycled materials.

Abstract

Plastics have become an essential part of our lives whether it is a food container or a high-tech medical instrument or just ordinary household item. Various advantages and disadvantages of plastics co-exist and hence it is difficult to eliminate the usage of plastic materials in everyday life. It is favorable because of its low weight, durability, flexibility, ease of processing etc. At the same time, it is not recommended due to health and safety hazards related to it.  Plastics made from renewable resources are high in demand for recycling application and one such thermoplastic is PLA.  Polylactic Acid (PLA) is biodegradable, transparent polymer derived from 100% renewable resources, such as corn and sugar beets. Its application ranges from simple packaging of food to biomedical applications. It has also become an essential part of 3D printing due to its ease of use compared to other thermoplastics. 3D printing is an additive manufacturing tool that uses layer by layer deposition phenomenon to print a 3D object. Using CAD software, the object is designed as per dimensional requirements and then the printer converts it into an object by deposition of material.   This study is an initiative to reuse discarded plastic products into something useful. Thus, failed prints of PLA material are used as the raw material and processed to get filaments of desired thickness in order to be used for 3D printing again. The 3D printed objects with dimensional irregularities or functional failures were crushed using a shredder and the shredded pieces were then sieved in order to eliminate the bigger pieces of material. The shredded material was then fed into the extruder and processed with high temperature and variation of speed of the extruder to get filaments of desired dimensions. The tests were performed in different settings that included variation of speed and temperature of heater. It is seen that both the parameter; speed and temperature, have a strong effect on the filament thickness

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