When wood is destroyed by beetles or termites, characteristic particle mixtures are formed, so-called frass, which consist of fine chips of wood abrasion and compression-molded pellets. The pellets are metabolic end products of the insects and are excreted through the intestines. In the case of the house longhorn beetle, the pellets have a cylindrical shape; in the case of drywood termites, they are hexagonal. After screening and sizing, the hexagonal pellets of "digested wood" have favorable material properties for the layer-by-layer construction of printed three-dimensional materials using the binder jetting process (3D printing). In addition to good flow properties, the particles are characterized by a high packing density in the powder bed and high dimensional stability even after wetting with adhesive.
Searching for biological feedstock material: 3D printing of wood particles from house borer and drywood termite frass
Rudy Plarre, Andrea Zocca, Andrea Spitzer, Sigrid Benemann, Anna Gorbushina, Y. Li, Anja Waske, Alexander Funk, Janka Wilgig, Jens Günster
published in PLOS One, 2021
BAM, department Materials and the Environment, division Biodeterioration and Reference Organisms, division Ceramic Processing and Biomaterials, division Surface Analysis and Interfacial Chemistry, division Radiological Methods