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Characterization and Control of Nanoparticle Emission during 3D Printing

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journal contribution
posted on 30.08.2017, 00:00 by Ohhun Kwon, Chungsik Yoon, Seunghon Ham, Jihoon Park, Jinho Lee, Danbi Yoo, Yoojin Kim
This study aimed to evaluate particle emission characteristics and to evaluate several control methods used to reduce particle emissions during three-dimensional (3D) printing. Experiments for particle characterization were conducted to measure particle number concentrations, emission rates, morphology, and chemical compositions under manufacturer-recommended and consistent-temperature conditions with seven different thermoplastic materials in an exposure chamber. Eight different combinations of the different control methods were tested, including an enclosure, an extruder suction fan, an enclosure ventilation fan, and several types of filter media. We classified the thermoplastic materials as high emitter (>1011 #/min), medium emitters (109 #/min −1011 #/min), and low emitters (<109 #/min) based on nanoparticle emissions. The nanoparticle emission rate was at least 1 order of magnitude higher for all seven filaments at the higher consistent extruder temperature than at the lower manufacturer-recommended temperature. Among the eight control methods tested, the enclosure with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter had the highest removal effectiveness (99.95%) of nanoparticles. Our recommendations for reducing particle emissions include applying a low temperature, using low-emitting materials, and instituting control measures like using an enclosure around the printer in conjunction with an appropriate filter (e.g., HEPA filter) during 3D printing.