Cellulose constitutes the main part of plant fibers and is the most abundant polymer on earth. It is commonly used by humans. Be it paper, cosmetic additives, pharmaceuticals or clothing - cellulose is an indispensable part of daily life. However, the production of compact three-dimensional cellulosic parts is very challenging. Either the parts show a low strength and density or it requires a labour-intensive manual production.
A feasibility study was conducted in order to evaluate whether three-dimensional cellulosic parts can be produced using plastics processing technologies.
The feasibility study consisted of:
▪ Description of the chemical and physical properties of cellulose
▪ Overview on technologies to analyse the properties of cellulosic materials
▪ Outline of paper production processes
▪ State-of-the-art (literature and patent search)
▪ Conception for the automated production of three dimensional cellulosic parts
▪ Laboratory experiments
Using relevant databases, scientific data was searched for and discussed. The results were presented via text and in a table.
Own concepts were created and SWOT analyses were performed. In agreement with the industrial project partner, a production technology was chosen.
Different cellulosic materials were selected and processed.
Tensile rods were manufactured using selected cellulosic materials.