A trio of researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing recently published a paper, titled “Preparation and Characterization of Poly(butylene succinate)/Polylactide Blends for Fused Deposition Modeling 3D Printing,” about preparing material blends of PLA and PBS with various compositions, then validating if they are suitable for use as filaments for FDM 3D printing.
FDM is one of the most widely used techniques in prototype making, and many materials have been studied. Researchers have been working on developing novel FDM 3D printed polymer materials with high dimensional accuracy and good mechanical properties.The PLA can theoretically be decomposed into carbon dioxide and water under natural conditions, and is often used, but unfortunately it is a brittle material, which limits its application.
PBS, with great thermal stability, has a decently low melting point and excellent ductility, which would make it good for FDM 3D printing. But, there haven't been a lot of studies published on the use of the material as a 3D printing filament.
Shear viscosity of polymer blends and thermal properties such as vitrification temperature were measured. The researchers also injected polymer blend particles into dumbble-shaped and cuboid bars for tensile and impact tests, and conducted thermal analysis of these bars to "study the effect of FDM printing on the crystallization behavior of PBS/PLA blends."