When talking about the 3D printing filament, one type that has gained significant popularity in the recent is the PLA filament 1.75mm. The PLA or Polylactic Acid tends to differ from most of the thermoplastic-based polymers.
This is because it is created from renewable resources such as sugar cane or corn starch. On the contrary, most of the plastics are actually created from distillation or polymerization of the nonrenewable forms of petroleum reserves. On the other hand, plastics that tend to be derived from the biomass are termed as “Bioplastics.”
Characteristics of PLA Filament
If you are planning to purchase the PLA filament 1.75 mm, make sure you know about its characteristics and how well it works for your needs. The PLA filament has properties that are similar to PE (Polyethylene), Polystyrene (PS), or Polypropylene (PP).It can easily be produced with the use of existing equipment for filament manufacturing. This is what makes the PLA filament relatively cost-effective in terms of large scale production for 3D printing needs.
Given the cost-effectiveness, it is obvious that the PLA filament has the 2nd largest production rate for any bioplastic.
The PLA filament 1.75 mm can be used for a wide range of applications such as:
- Plastic films
- Biodegradable Medical Equipment
Apart from this, the PLA can also constrict under the heat. This is why it is deemed suitable to be used as the shrink wrap. The way the PLA easily melts leads to some of the best and most interesting applications when talking about the 3D printing world.
On the opposite end, this filament has a low transition temperature, which makes it unsuitable for holding hot liquid.
Key Properties of PLA Filament
The PLA filament is generally classified as thermoplastic due to the way this plastic reacts to heat. The thermoplastics tend to become liquid when they attain the melting point, which is 150 degrees Celsius to 160 degrees Celsius.
Here are some of the properties commonly seen with the PLA filament 1.75 mm.
- Eco-friendly, biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable
- Non-toxic in nature in solid form
- Better processability for thermal induction
Disadvantages of PLA filament
- Low temperature for glass transition
- Poor ductility, brittleness, low strength for impact
- Lower crystallization rate
- Susceptible to biological and chemical hydrolysis
- Thermally unstable with poor performance in terms of gas barrier
- Lower flexibility with longer molding cycles
- Can be hydrophobic in nature
- A slow rate of degradation
How is the PLA filament created?
The PLA or Polylactic Acid can be created via two recognizable processes which are:
The commonly used polymerization technique in the production of PLA filament 1.75 mm is the Ring-Opening Polymerization. In this process, the makers utilize the metal catalysts that are combined with the lactide. This helps with the creation of larger variants of the PLA molecules.
The PLA’s condensation process works in a similar manner, with the only difference being its temperature during conduction of procedure as well as by-products released as the consequence of this reaction.
Popular Applications of the PLA filament 1.75 mm
- Packaging Polymer for Food Contact Approved:
The PLA has been approved for being used as a packaging filament for food by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It can easily be used in the form of food packaging to keep safe the products with short life such as fruits as well as vegetables.
The commonly known packaging applications for the PLA filament 1.75 mm include drinking cups, containers, salad cups, sundae, blister packages, as well as overwraps.
- Biocompatible Plastic for Medical and Healthcare Industry:
Given the biodegradability and biocompatibility, the PLA filament 1.75 mm can easily be used for the medical as well as the healthcare industry. Both these industries are making use of the PLA to manufacture scaffolds for tissue engineering, covering membranes, materials for delivery systems, and medical implants (bioabsorbable).
Further, due to the versatility shown by the PLA filament, it has also been investigated to be used for the membrane applications such as wound covers, medical devices, as well as implants. This can include everything from the rods, pins, plates to sutures, and screws. The application of PLA filament is also being incorporated in dermatological treatments such as scar rejuvenation and facial lipoatrophy.
- Structural Applications:
The Bio-based polylactic acid or its composites are new to the world of structural applications for the high-end automotive, electronics, or electrical appliances. The PLA composites are known to show better impact resistance and tensile strength, which could be used in the interiors of an automobile as well as safety helmets.
Apart from this, PLA filament 1.75 mm is also well-suited to be used as pillar cover, floor mats, front panel, door trim, as well as ceiling material. However, one needs to keep in mind the fact that the application in this stream is still limited, and more will surely be explored in the future.
- Fabrics and Fibers Created from PLA:
The PLA filament 1.75 mm is also perfect for the creation of textile fibers to create things such as carpets, shirts, mattresses, bedding, sportswear, and more. Given the low absorption rate for moisture, this material is perfect for creating sweat-proof fabric. Apart from that, the PLA filament has properties such as the low generation of smoke and UV light resistance that make it a great filament for fiber creation.
The PLA filament also has applications in bags for compostable waste, mulch films, insulation materials, as well as structural protective foam.
Is the PLA filament toxic?
Now, this particular thing is debatable. Why? Given the biodegradable nature of the PLA filament 1.75 mm, it is safe in its solid form. This filament is generally used for food handling as well as medical implants designed to biodegrade within your body with time. However, like any other plastic material, it sure has the potential for toxicity. However, this is only possible if the fumes of the material are inhaled or absorbed into your skin. It can also harm you if the vapors tend to enter your body via the eyes or in liquid form.
So, the next time you are handling this molten polymer, make sure you are careful and follow the instructions laid out for handling it in a strict manner.
The PLA filament, being a biodegradable option, is perfect for your 3D printing needs. However, you need to keep in mind that the fumes could be potentially toxic. So, make sure you always print in a room that is well-ventilated. If possible, wear a mask to avoid inhaling the fumes. Given the fact that it is biodegradable, it can be used safely for creating food containers, wrap plastics, and more!
Looking for a high-quality PLA filament 1.75 mm? At MakeShaper, we house an extensive collection of top-quality PLA filaments that are all tested for strength and durability. We also have an amazing collection of other filament types such as ASA, ABS, PVA, and more. So, shop today to get exclusive discounts on your purchase.