Development of sustainable composites from used eggshells for practical applications using additive manufacturing in the context of the circular economy
The main objective of the research project is to develop a biobased polymer composite material (PLA) made of eggshell particles with improved thermal, mechanical and biodegradable properties to support Canada’s rapid prototyping and egg processing sectors as they move towards sustainable products and circular manufacturing initiatives, to create value for eggshell waste and to develop a manufacturing process for 3D biopolymer printing feedstock containing eggshell particles as filler. The composite materials will be characterized for their thermal, mechanical and biodegradable properties. The specific objectives of the four-year project are to:
- Identify the ideal eggshell particle size, weight fraction and surface coating to produce polylactic acid/eggshell composites by additive manufacturing using standard low-cost fused filament forming (FFF) 3D printers.
- Improve the biodegradability of polylactic acid composites by reducing degradation time through the addition of compostable additives and by exploring their impact on the mechanical properties.
- Determine the recyclability of the developed eggshell-filled polymer composite filaments.