Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a biodegradable polyester with a low melting point of around 60 °C and a glass transition temperature of about −60 °C. The most common use of polycaprolactone is in the manufacture of speciality polyurethanes. Polycaprolactones impart good water, oil, solvent and chlorine resistance to the polyurethane produced.
This polymer is often used as an additive for resins to improve their processing characteristics and their end use properties (e.g., impact resistance). Being compatible with a range of other materials, PCL can be mixed with starch to lower its cost and increase biodegradability or it can be added as a polymeric plasticizer to PVC.
Polycaprolactone is also used for splinting, modeling, and as a feedstock for prototyping systems such as a 3D Printer, where it is used for Fused Filament Fabrication (similar to Stratasys’ Fused Deposition Modeling technique)