Plastic recycling in additive manufacturing: A systematic literature review and opportunities for the circular economy
Journal of Cleaner Production
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The rapid technical evolution of additive manufacturing (AM) enables a new path to a circular economy using distributed recycling and production. This concept of Distributed Recycling via Additive Manufacturing (DRAM) is related to the use of recycled materials by means of mechanical recycling process in the 3D printing process chain. This paper aims to examine the current advances on thermoplastic recycling processes via additive manufacturing technologies. After proposing a closed recycling global chain for DRAM, a systematic literature review including 92 papers from 2009 to 2019 was performed using the scopus, web of science and springer databases. This work examines main topics from six stages (recovery, preparation, compounding, feedstock, printing, quality) of the proposed DRAM chain. The results suggested that few works have been done for the recovery and preparation stages, while a great progress has already been done for the other stages in order to validate the technical feasibility, environmental impact, and economic viability. Potential research paths in the pre-treatment of recycled material at local level and printing chain phases were identified in order to connect the development of DRAM with the circular economy ambition at micro, meso and macro level. The development of each stage proposed using the open source approach is a relevant path to scale DRAM to reach the full technical potential as a centerpiece of the circular economy.