11 April 2023

Systematic study of FFF materials for digitalizing chemical reactors with 3D printing: superior performance of carbon-filled polyamide

The discovery of high-performance thermoplastics for additive technologies has opened new areas of science and industry with the paramount application of fused filament fabrication 3D printing (FFF). Indeed, it is the emergence of new materials that the further development of FFF technology is associated with. Such materials must combine several high performance characteristics. For use in chemical laboratory practice, FFF materials must possess a challenging combination of properties – chemical resistance, heat stability and mechanical strength. In this work, a systematic study of these characteristics was carried out for general purpose plastics (PLA+, TPU and PC+), plastics with high chemical resistance (PP, PP-GF) and plastics with increased chemical and heat resistance based on polyamides (PA, PA6-CF). It is shown that, in terms of the combination of advantageous practical properties, carbon-filled polyamide-6 (PA6-CF) is a superior material for digital design of chemical reactors in laboratory practice. In this work, a new methodology for complex testing of FFF parts has been developed, which provides the possibility to examine simultaneous effects on several external factors. Tests of chemical reactors made of PA6-CF in the catalytic hydrogenation of alkynes showed the high efficiency of this material for the manufacturing of chemical equipment. The test reactions were performed with high conversion both in batch mode and in continuous flow mode at elevated temperature in a short time using a small amount of palladium catalyst.

Reference: React. Chem. Eng., 2023, ASAP.

DOI: 10.1039/D2RE00395C.