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Chemical resistance of 3D printable polymers: literature review

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This is a literature review for a study on the chemical resistance of 3D printable polymers. This literature review is initially targeted at liquid chemicals which can "attack" 3D printed polymers. In the future gas and plasma attack can be studied but for now it is out of the scope of this lit review.

3D printing materials and their chemical properties

PLA (Polylactic acid)

One of the most used 3D printing filaments. Various vendors and available in multiple colors. Biodegradable, potentially not very resistant to chemicals.

ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)


Commercial 3D printing filaments: Inova Co-Polyester, ColorFabb nGen


PP (Polypropylene)

Resistant to various laboratory chemicals

PC (Polycarbonate)


Taulman T-glase is made of PETT.



Ultem(R) is a commercial plastic which mainly consists of PEI.


Taulman Alloy 910 is apparently Nylon-based.


Polyethylene terephthalate modified with glycol.

Liquid chemicals

organic polymers can be here taken as the normal
What reactions happen in organic polymers in liquids?

List of chemicals

The resistance of 3D printable materials at least to the following solvents, acids and solutions is tested:

  • Deionized H2O
  • Isopropanol
  • Acetone
  • Hydrochloric acid (HCl), 37%
  • Ammonia (NH3), aqueous solution 25%
  • Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), aqueous solution 30%
  • Nitric acid (HNO3)
  • Phosphoric acid (H3PO4)
  • Acetic acid, concentrated

These chemicals are common chemicals used in many laboratories and many semiconductor processing steps, such as in the cleaning of silicon wafers.

Organic polymers

Focus here in differences of organic polymers, their production, etc 


Fluoro polymers

Contrast these guys to organics


Aalto.png This page was part of an Aalto University course 3D Printing of Open Source Hardware for Science

Please leave comments using the discussion tab. The course runs in the Fall semester 2017. It is not open edit.

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