One of the biggest challenges of contemporary society is to deal with the excessive generation of solid waste and its disposal. Demographic growth combined with technological development causes an increase in industrial production and consumption patterns, creating pressure on natural systems and resources. Furthermore, inadequate waste management and lack of appropriate disposal areas bring consequently global environmental impacts. Environmental policies have guided governments, society, academia and industry towards sustainable solid waste management. Therefore, additive manufacturing (AM) has arisen as a solution encouraging the development of new materials from renewable sources and new manufacturing technologies. For sustainability reasons, 3D printing filaments can be manufactured from recycled polymers and composites, enabling to reduce materials cost while maintaining their performance and useful life. However, the rheological properties affect the molten polymers processing, directly influencing the morphological and mechanical properties as well as the final product performance. Therefore, this project aims at manufacturing recycled polypropylene (PP) from disposable cups reinforced with wastepaper composites to obtain sustainable filaments for 3D printing. In particular, a complete rheological study is performed to predict and understand the flow properties to optimize the processing conditions and final properties. The work also includes a complete characterization of the raw materials (wastepaper and recycled PP) and their composites.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: