WS2 inorganic nanotubes (WS2-NT) have been incorporated into Polylactic Acid (PLA) by melt mixing to create a bio-degradable, mechanically reinforced nanocomposite filament. The filament was then processed by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D-printer, and the morphology and characteristics before and after printing were compared. We found that addition of WS2-NT to PLA by extrusion mixing increases the elastic modulus, yield strength and strain-at-failure by 20%, 23% and 35%, respectively. Moreover, we found that the printing process itself improves the dispersion of WS2-NT within the PLA filament, and does not require changing of the printing parameters compared to pure PLA. The results demonstrate the advantage of WS2-NT as reinforcement specifically in 3D-printable polymers, over more traditional nano-reinforcements such as graphene and carbon nanotubes. WS2-NT based 3D-printable nanocomposites can be used for variety of applications from custom-made biodegradable scaffold of soft implants such as cartilage-based organs and biodegradable soft stents to the more general easy-to-apply nano-reinforced polymers.
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