Optimisation of the Adhesion of Polypropylene-Based Materials during Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing

Martin Spörk, Joamin Gonzalez-Gutierrez, Christof Lichal, Hrvoje Cajner, Gerald Berger, Stephan Schuschnigg, Ludwig Cardon, Clemens Holzer

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39 Citations (Scopus)
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Polypropylene (PP) parts produced by means of extrusion-based additive manufacturing, also known as fused filament fabrication, are prone to detaching from the build platform due to their strong tendency to shrink and warp. Apart from incorporating high volume fractions of fillers, one approach to mitigate this issue is to improve the adhesion between the first deposited layer and the build platform. However, a major challenge for PP is the lack of adhesion on standard platform materials, as well as a high risk of welding on PP-based platform materials. This study reports the material selection of build platform alternatives based on contact angle measurements. The adhesion forces, investigated by shear-off measurements, between PP-based filaments and the most promising platform material, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), were optimised by a thorough parametric study. Higher adhesion forces were measured by increasing the platform and extrusion temperatures, increasing the flow rate and decreasing the thickness of the first layer. Apart from changes in printer settings, an increased surface roughness of the UHMW-PE platform led to a sufficient, weld-free adhesion for large-area parts of PP-based filaments, due to improved wetting, mechanical interlockings, and an increased surface area between the two materials in contact.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalPolymers / Molecular Diversity Preservation International
Issue number490
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018

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