Recyclable and bio-based 3D thermosets


From the work field, there is an increasing need for sustainable building blocks to develop materials.

In the field of materials development, additive manufacturing (AM) offers the possibility of producing a versatile range of customized materials. An important class of materials used in AM are thermoset photopolymers. Although thermosetting photopolymers are sustainable because of no environmental pollution, volatile organic solvents are required in the formulations, the thermosetting photopolymer formulations available on the market are not yet sustainable enough.

The raw materials are mostly still of fossil origin and once cured, the 3D printed objects are not recyclable or reprocessable into other objects. In this project, NHL Stenden, Maastricht University and Liqcreate will work on developing bio-based photopolymer resins based on building blocks derived from lignin, fatty acid and camphor. In addition, the building blocks will contain reversible bonds that allow otherwise non-recyclable cured products to be processed as a thermoplastic at elevated temperatures, opening the way to recycling.

Based on these building blocks, photopolymer formulations will be made and cured, after which the mechanical properties will be mapped. The best photopolymer formulations will be used for 3D printing objects, the recyclability of which will be studied.