Developing an Electrostatic Discharge Polyamide 6 Nanocomposite for 3D Printing




Arigbabowo, Oluwasola Kofoworola

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Polyamide 6 (PA 6) is an engineering thermoplastic ideal for 3D printing via fused deposition modelling (FDM) and could serve as potential replacement for conventional FDM polymers like acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and Polylactic acid (PLA). The addition of nanofillers at low concentrations can be a promising advancement in fabricating PA 6 based nanocomposites filaments for FDM process thereby expanding its use in applications demanding for good electrical properties like electrostatic dissipation (ESD). While creating an electrically conductive path to improve the ESD capability, it is imperative to sustain the structural integrity of the nanocomposites. Hence, the primary goal of this research was to develop a viable PA6 nanocomposites filament for 3D printing in potential electrostatic discharge applications. 3 and 5 wt.% loadings of Carbon Nanofiber (CNF) were compounded with PA6 using corotating twin screw extruder to produce 1.75mm diameter monofilaments for fused deposition modelling (FDM). The morphology of the compounded nanocomposites was investigated using Scanning Electron Microscope and test samples were printed using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), Lulzbot TAZ 6 FDM printer. Mechanical, electrical, and thermal characterization were carried out according to their respective ASTM standard. The tensile properties were enhanced by 3wt% addition of CNF, but no observable improvement in tensile modulus at 5wt%. The flexural strength and modulus increase with increasing addition of CNF. The thermal properties of the nanocomposites were sustained with incorporation of CNF with no major deterioration in thermal stability and a higher degree of crystallinity was observed at both CNF loading levels. The electrical resistivity of the insulative PA6 matrix was reduced to order of 10<sup>11</sup> Ω-cm and 10<sup>12</sup> Ω-cm by 3wt% and 5wt% CNF addition respectively, which seems promising for manufacturing of static discharge products. The modification of the PA6 matrix with inclusion of CNF has shown high potential of developing a multifunctional PA6 nanocomposite filament for 3D printing and this was significant at 3wt% CNF addition which possess an excellent combination of mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties.



Polyamide 6, Nanocomposites, 3D printing, Electrostatic discharge


Arigbabowo, O. K. (2020). <i>Developing an electrostatic discharge polyamide 6 nanocomposite for 3D printing</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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