Influence of washing on the adhesion between 3D-printed TPU and woven fabrics


  • Jannik Störmer Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences
  • Daniel Görmer Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences
  • Andrea Ehrmann



3D printing, Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), Adhesion, Thermal after-treatment, Heat press, Washing, Nozzle-textile distance


3D printing on textile fabrics can be used to create composites with position-dependent mechanical, water-resistant, magnetic or other properties. An important prerequisite to use such composites technologically or for design purposes is a sufficient adhesion between both materials. While previous studies revealed that soft, elastic printing polymers were advantageous to prepare connections with a high adhesion, not much research has been performed yet on the dependence of the adhesion on textile fabric structure, heat post-treatment, and the influence of washing, which is necessary for most applications of such composites. Here we investigate composites from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) 3D-printed on two different woven cotton fabrics. Besides the expected strong correlation of the adhesion with the distance between nozzle and printing bed, we find a higher adhesion on the thinner fabric and an increase in the adhesion after one washing cycle.


Arunothayan, A. R.; Nematollahi, B.; Ranade, R.; Bong, S. H.; Sanjayan, J. Development of 3D-printable ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete for digital construction. Construction and Building Materials 2020, 257, 119546. DOI 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.119546.

Afshar, A.; Mihut, D. Enhancing durability of 3D printed polymer structures by metallization. J. Mater. Sci. Technol. 2020, 53, 185-191. DOI 10.1016/j.jmst.2020.01.072.

Oviedo, A. M.; Puente, A.H.; Bernal, C.; Perez, E. Mechanical evaluation of polymeric filaments and their corresponding 3D printed samples. Polymer Testing 2020, 88, 106561. DOI 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2020.106561.

Dong, J.; Mei, C. T.; Han, J. Q.; Lee, S. Y.; Wu, Q. L. 3D printed poly(lactic acid) composites with grafted cellulose nanofibers: Effect of nanofiber and post-fabrication annealing treatment on composite flexural properties. Additive Manufacturing 2019, 28, 621-628. DOI 10.1016/j.addma.2019.06.004.

Chalgham, A.; Wickenkamp, I.; Ehrmann, A. Mechanical properties of FDM printed PLA parts before and after thermal treatment. Polymers 2021, 13, 1239. DOI: 10.3390/polym13081239.

Stepashkin, A. A.; Chukowv, D. I.; Senatov, F. S.; Salimon, A. I.; Korsunsky, A. M. Kaloshkin, S. D. 3D-printed PEEK-carbon fiber (CF) composites: structure and thermal properties. Composites Science and Technology 2018, 164, 319-326. DOI: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2018.05.032.

Grothe, T.; Brockhagen, B.; Storck, J. L. Three-dimensional printing resin on different textile substrates using stereolithography: A proof of concept. J. Eng. Fibers Fabrics 2020, 1, 1558925020933440. DOI: 10.1177/1558925020933440.

Eutionnat-Diffo, P. A.; Chen, Y.; Guan, J. P.; Cayla, A.; Campagne, C.; Zeng, X. Y.; Nierstraz, V. Stress, strain and deformation of poly-lactic acid filament deposited onto polyethylene terephthalate woven fabric through 3D printing process. Sci. Rep. 2019, 9, 14333. DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50832-7.

Narula, A.; Pastore, C.; Schmelzeisen, D.; El Basri, S.; Schenk, J.; Shajoo, S. Effect of knit and print parameters on peel strength of hybrid 3D printed textiles. J. Text. Fibrous Mater. 2018, 1: 2515221117749251. DOI 10.1177/2515221117749251.

Meyer, P.; Döpke, C.; Ehrmann, A. Improving adhesion of three-dimensional printed objects on textile fabrics by polymer coating. J. Eng. Fibers Fabrics 2019, 14, 1558925019895257. DOI 10.1177/1558925019895257.

Calvo, J.O.; Martin, A.C.; Ferradas, M.I.R.; Morcillo, P.L.F.; Munoz, L.M.; Camo, P.M. Additive manufacturing on textiles with low-cost extrusion devices: Adhesion and deformation properties. Dyna 2019, 64, 8893. DOI 10.6036/8893.

Mpofu, N. S.; Mwasiagi, J. I.; Nkiwane, L. C.; Njuguna, D. Use of regression to study the effect of fabric parameters on the adhesion of 3D printed PLA polymer onto woven fabrics. Fashion and Textiles 2019, 6, 24. DOI 10.1186/s40691-019-0180-6.

Grimmelsmann, N.; Kreuziger, M.; Korger, M.; Meissner, H.; Ehrmann, A. Adhesion of 3D printed material on textile substrates. Rapid Prototyping J. 2018, 24(1), 166-170. DOI 10.1108/RPJ-05-2016-0086.

Spahiu, T.; Al-Arabiyat, M.; Martens, Y.; Ehrmann, A.; Piperi, E.; Shehi, E. Adhesion of 3D printing polymers on textile fabrics for garment production. IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 2018, 459, 012065. DOI: 10.1088/1757-899X/459/1/012065.

Korger, M.; Bergschneider, J.; Lutz, M.; Mahltig, B.; Finsterbusch, K.; Rabe, M. Possible Applications of 3D Printing Technology on Textile Substrates. IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 2016, 141, 012011. DOI 10.1088/1757-899X/141/1/012011.

Kozior, T.; Döpke, C.; Grimmelsmann, N.; Juhász Junger, I.; Ehrmann, A. Influence of fabric pretreatment on adhesion of three-dimensional printed material on textile substrates. Adv. Mech. Eng. 2018, 10, 792316. DOI 10.1177/1687814018792316.

Görmer, D.; Störmer, J.; Ehrmann, A. The influence of thermal after-treatment on the adhesion of 3D prints on textile fabrics. Communications in Development and Assembling of Textile Products 2020, 1, 104-110.

Korger, M.; Glogowsky, A.; Sanduloff, S.; Steinem, C.; Huysman, S.; Horn, B.; Ernst, M.; Rabe, M. Testing thermoplastic elastomers selected as flexible three-dimensional printing materials for functional garment and technical textile applications. J. Eng. Fibers Fabrics 2020, 15, 1558925020924599. DOI 10.1177/1558925020924599.

Ehrmann, A.; Heimlich, F.; Brücken, A.; Weber, M.O.; Blachowicz, T. Experimental investigation of the washing relaxation of knitted fabrics from polyester yarn with stainless steel fibers. Fibres & Textiles in Eastern Europe 2012, 20, 90-93.

Adhesion after washing the printed and partly heat-treated samples



How to Cite

Störmer, J., Görmer, D., & Ehrmann, A. (2021). Influence of washing on the adhesion between 3D-printed TPU and woven fabrics. Communications in Development and Assembling of Textile Products, 2(1), 34-39.



Peer-reviewed articles