Thermoplastic Cellulose-Based Compound for Additive Manufacturing

Kirsi Immonen (Corresponding Author), Pia Willberg-keyriläinen, Jarmo Ropponen, Asta Nurmela, Sini Metsä-kortelainen, Otto-ville Kaukoniemi, Heli Kangas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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The increasing environmental awareness is driving towards novel sustainable high-performance materials applicable for future manufacturing technologies like additive manufacturing (AM). Cellulose is abundantly available renewable and sustainable raw material. This work focused on studying the properties of thermoplastic cellulose-based composites and their properties using injection molding and 3D printing of granules. The aim was to maximize the cellulose content in composites. Different compounds were prepared using cellulose acetate propionate (CAP) and commercial cellulose acetate propionate with plasticizer (CP) as polymer matrices, microcellulose (mc) and novel cellulose-ester additives; cellulose octanoate (C8) and cellulose palmitate (C16). The performance of compounds was compared to a commercial poly(lactic acid)-based cellulose fiber containing composite. As a result, CP-based compounds had tensile and Charpy impact strength properties comparable to commercial reference, but lower modulus. CP-compounds showed glass transition temperature (Tg) over 58% and heat distortion temperature (HDT) 12% higher compared to reference. CAP with C16 had HDT 82.1 °C. All the compounds were 3D printable using granular printing, but CAP compounds had challenges with printed layer adhesion. This study shows the potential to tailor thermoplastic cellulose-based composite materials, although more research is needed before obtaining all-cellulose 3D printable composite material with high-performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1701
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This research was funded by EU-project NOVUM, grant number 768604.


  • thermoplastic cellulose
  • cellulose derivatives
  • microcellulose
  • additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • granule printing


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