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Reuse of green parts for metal material extrusion: A recycling approach for improved sustainability

TitoloReuse of green parts for metal material extrusion: A recycling approach for improved sustainability
Tipo di pubblicazioneArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Anno di Pubblicazione2024
AutoriBocchi, Sara, D'Urso Gianluca, Giardini Claudio, Carminati Mattia, Borriello Carmela, Tammaro Loredana, and Galvagno Sergio
RivistaJournal of Cleaner Production
Type of ArticleArticle
Parole chiave316L, Additive technology, Additives, density, Density (specific gravity), Extrusion, Extrusion techniques, Metal material extrusion, Metallic part, Metallic powder, Metals materials, particle size, Particle size analysis, Plastic recycling, Powder metals, Recycling filament, Reuse, Scrap metal reprocessing, Sintering, Thermogravimetric analysis, Vickers hardness

In the recent years, a novel variant of Material Extrusion technique has been developed. This proved additive technology has been combined with an innovative filament loaded with metallic powder dispersed into a polymeric matrix. The parts printed with this metal/polymer composite filament by means of the Material Extrusion process are called “green parts”. After debinding and sintering treatments, the green parts became completely made by metal. As a novel technology, Metal Material Extrusion is still not a fully optimized and, therefore, efficient process and this leads to the generation of a great number of scraps due to the wasted products and to still existing process inefficiencies, which also increase the total costs of fabrication and undermine its economic competitiveness. In this paper, a circular approach for this new additive process has been proposed with a focus on the reuse and the remanufacture of the wasted products. Particularly, the reuse of defective green parts of Metal Material Extrusion technique was investigated to assess a circular manufacture of metallic parts. A new filament was fabricated starting from wasted green parts as raw feedstock with a commercial extrusion system. A comparison between commercial and recycled filaments was conducted. The polymeric content was studied by means of macrographic and thermogravimetric analysis, while a particle size distribution analysis was proposed to evaluate any change in metal powder sizes. Sequentially, secondary green parts were produced and underwent a debinding and sintering process to obtain near fully dense metallic parts. Furthermore, preliminary structural and mechanical evaluations of the secondary metallic samples were proposed in terms of apparent density, microstructure, and Vickers hardness. The resulting properties were compared to those of the virgin de-bound and sintered samples to assess the feasibility of the suggested circular fabrication process. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd


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Citation KeyBocchi2024