Manufacturing – Low-cost 3-D feedstock …
Reformulated plant matter could be at the roots of a revolution in 3-D printing projected to hit $5.2 billion by 2020. Soydan Ozcan, a researcher in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon and Composite Group, leads a team that is testing plant material that has been reformed into neatly woven nanoscale crystals and fibers. Mixed with various plastics, including those that are bio-based, these needle-like crystals can produce feedstock polymers for 3-D printers with stiffness improvements already a factor of three over widely used structural materials. They are also less expensive and mostly biodegradable. Potential applications include fuel-efficient car parts, batteries, packaging and building materials, furniture, disposable electronics and bulletproof suits.
August 05, 2014