Real-time monitoring of the emission of volatile organic compounds from polylactide 3D printing filaments.

The Science of the Total Environment
Wojciech WojnowskiBożena Zabiegała


Establishing the emission profile of volatile organic compounds generated during fused deposition modeling 3D printing using polymer filaments is important in terms of both understanding the processes taking place during thermal degradation of thermoplastics, and assessing the user's exposure to potentially harmful volatiles. However, obtaining detailed, real-time qualitative and quantitative results poses a challenge. In this paper solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry and proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry were used to identify and monitor the emission of volatiles during thermal degradation of polylactide filaments and during 3D printing. Filaments of two different grades and three colours were used. It was possible to obtain detailed, time- and temperature-resolved emission profiles of the main products of thermal decomposition of lactide and polylactide 3D printing filaments at concentration levels of a few μg/g. This revealed different temperature-dependent emission characteristics of particular volatiles, such as, among others, lactide, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, and 2-butanone between various polylactide 3D printing filaments. This approach can be used to ...Continue Reading

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