Additive Manufacturing – CANOE & FCBA: From Plant Production (Wood in Particular) to Bio-Based Materials
A common research project between CANOE and FCBA leads to the valorization of locally produced lignin as main component for additive manufacturing applications.
Nowadays, PLA is one of the major renewable materials available for 3D printers. Unlike PLA, which is made from renewable food resources (e.g.: Corn or potato starch), lignin is obtained from renewable resources from forestry (wood, agricultural waste…).
Moreover, lignin is inherently biodegradable and also more thermally resistant than PLA. But due to the brittleness of raw lignin, it must be associated with another polymer (or modified) in order to be processed.
CANOE has formulated an alloy with at least 50 wt% of lignin blended with a specific renewable polymer. This lignin alloy can be printed just as easily as PLA and it can be tuned to be soft (as elastomer) or rigid (as hard plastics) according to the ambient temperature.