3D printing Will the PLA material be decomposed by water?
Date of release:2018-11-13 Author: Click:
Among the many 3D printed wires, PLA is the most environmentally friendly and safest. A few days ago, on the foreign forum Reddit, a topic about PLA 3D printed wire led to a heated discussion: Can PLA degrade in water?
A few days ago, a friend of Reddit with a PuffThePed posted a post on Reddit. In 2012, he printed a small gadget with white PLA wire 3D. In order to color it, he soaked it in a bottle of water. But I quickly forgot about it. The time came to 2016. When he cleaned the lab, he found the PLA 3D print that was soaked in the water. He found that after three and a half years in the water, the 3D print was still intact.
After that, another netizen with ID Waters introduced a contradictory example of his own experience: the PLA 3D printing model, which was also in the aquarium, one year later, one degradation occurred, and the other remained the same. .
In March 2015, the Bill Waters used a PLA wire to print a filter mesh for his fish tank 3D. Since he was not satisfied with the first printed filter, he took it after a week, and then took it down. Printed one, the latter has been used until now.
Today Bill Waters posted a comparison of the two 3D printed aquarium filters (one for a week and the other one has been used) one year later:
As can be seen from the above figure, the one-sided PLA 3D printing filter on the right is only slightly dirty, nothing changes; the left one is obviously faded, becomes porous and brittle, and the grid structure on the top begins to crack. .
However, at about the same time, Bill Waters also printed a filter's boom end cap in 3D. It also used PLA material and soaked it in the aquarium for a year. It turned out that after a year it was a bit dirty, but No damage.
Bill Waters believes that microbes in water, rather than water itself, may be the main cause of degradation of PLA materials. Because it is obvious that the filter is more intimately in contact with microorganisms in the water than the end caps close to the surface of the aquarium. However, he further reminded that other factors, such as temperature, light, biological activity, as well as the formulation of the wire, the pigments used and additives, may affect the degradation of PLA wire.
In addition, a netizen with ID blargscar also gave a more academic explanation, which sounds very reasonable:
“PLA absorbs water, which means that water molecules will diffuse between the polymer chains and cause their volume to expand. In addition, pure water will not have any other effect on PLA. And when it is deep in the soil, In some of these compounds, the polymer chain of PLA is actually broken down into segments until it becomes a smaller tetramer. At this scale, PLA is eaten by microorganisms in the environment, resulting in composting. Chemicals are present in the presence of PLA. Water does not have any other effect on the expansion of the PLA. You only need to use a desiccant or heat it to a lower temperature (< 50 degrees Celsius). You can remove the moisture."
These remarks are just speculations from many netizens. What is the truth? There is no accurate statement now.
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