The characterization of 3D printed plastics sterilized by hydrogen peroxide vapour
MetadataShow full item record
3D printers that precisely fuse plastic filament are enabling medical manufacturers to produce high-quality plastic medical devices and implants. However, the low-temperature fusing process implies that post-production sterilization must also occur at a low temperature or destroy the precision of the product. This study characterizes the effects of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) vapour sterilization on ASTM-compliant tensile samples of polylactic acid, polycaprolactone, and polycarbonate. The sterilization process caused physical deformations in polycaprolactone. Additionally, increases were observed in polycaprolactone and polycarbonate sample thickness, and in polycarbonate sample width. Decreases in E were found in all three materials, while UTS decreased in polycarbonate, and strain at UTS increased in polycaprolactone. The findings demonstrate that the materials can be compatible with H2O2 vapour sterilization, but products must be designed to accommodate for changes that occur due to sterilization.