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| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
The effect outdoor environments have on current printable polymers (ABS, HDPE, PLA, and Polycarbonate) over 20 year periods.
This work is to analyze different polymers for solar panel racking applications when subjected to natural and outdoor forces. ABS Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene is a thermoplastic that is flame retardant, with good heat resistance, high impact resistance, and good flow characteristics. With outdoor applications these characteristics are desirable. Disadvantages, high cost, limited weather resistance, moderate heat, moisture and chemical resistance. Due to these characteristics this polymer is unsuited for solar panel rackings built to withstand outdoor conditions for 20 year periods for time. http://plastics.ides.com/generics/1/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene-abs Max temp: 176 F 80 C Min temp: -4 F -20 C Melting Point: 221 F 105 C Tensile Strength: 4300 psi http://www.dynalabcorp.com/technical_info_abs.asp
Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins, has been observed to become brittle under ultraviolet exposure by ultraviolet light exposure. This behavior is due to the saturation of bonds by cross-linking and chain scission in its PB phase. This degradation by UV light is exclusive to only the surfaced of the polymer. If solar racking structures were to withstand static loading for a period of up to 20 years, the brittle fracture failure would be less likely to occur in this time frame. http://www.appropedia.org/3D_printable_PV_components_literature_review#UV_Protection_.2F_Lifetime_Assessment Photo-oxidative degradation http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1350630798000260