PLA Filament (Polylactic Acid) is a biodegradable plastic coming from renewable organic resources (corn starch or sugarcane). PLA Filament is recyclable but can also be biological decomposed in composting plants.
Polylactic acid is a polyester that is built from several lactic acid units. It is colourless and transparent. PLA has a density of about 1.25 kg/cm3. The glass temperature is typically around 50 °C and it as a melting temperature between 170 and 230 °C. The decomposing temperature is roughly 250 °C. Polymers made of lactic acid are flammable.
Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) is a thermoplastic and a copolymer that is used for rigid objects. It consists of 5-30% Butadiene, around 50% Styrene and the rest is Acrylonitrile.
ABS is a strong material with high toughness and impact resistance. The maximum operating temperature is between 85 °C and 100 °C, depending on the modifications. The minimum operating temperature is -35 °C. ABS is a flammable polymer to which flame retardant can be added. It is also subject to ageing by being exposed to the weather conditions (UV light, oxygen, moisture, heat) because Polybutadiene stimulates the oxidation of Polystyrene. This causes discolouration and the plastic loses its mechanical strength. In order to improve this UV stabilisers can be added.