Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Zeolite CNT 3D Printing Materials Used in Load Bearing Structures

ST Medical Devices

Share this Article

Researchers are studying the use of new materials for greater strength in 3D printing, outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Zeolite-templated 3D printed carbon nanotube networks with enhanced mechanical properties.’ Greater knowledge in this area is especially critical for applications like aerospace and defense where high load-bearing architectures are often required, leading the authors to seek inspiration from nature, in the form of microporous minerals known as zeolite.

As materials science expands, so does the use of composites—additives used to enhance materials that may be otherwise limited for manufacturing certain projects. Scientists often draw from nature, whether from spider silk, wood, seashells, or a variety of other materials that can translate into other forms meant to improve manufacturing in numerous fascinating—and productive—ways.

“In spite of numerous successful biomimicry cases, its broad approach is difficult due to extreme structural complexity and the limitation imposed by material properties,” state the authors. “A simpler and desirable approach would be to combine easy processable but retaining structural complexity, especially for enhanced load-bearing applications.”

a) Front view of zeolite-templated molecular structures. b) Front view of 3D printed
zeolite-inspired structures. c) 3D view of zeolite-inspired molecular structures. d) 3D view of 3D printed zeolite-inspired structures.

The research team used an FDM 3D printer, with commercial-grade, solid PLA, to create zeolite-template carbon nanotube nets (CNTnets) structures as samples for the study. To create the CNTnets, however, the researchers first had to make junctions between the CNTs, completed as they placed two CNTs within nearly BEA channels, and then added non-bonded carbon atoms. Structures were printed using a Flashforge Adventurer 3, with the extruder heated to 210˚C and the heated bed set at 50˚C.

Specifications of the created molecular structures from MD simulations and the 3D printed corresponding ones.

Initial results suggested that porosity does play a role in deformation of parts. With less porosity, they found that elastic regimes were shorter, with greater stress required to create deformation—thus attaining the plastic ‘regime’ of the intended structure.

“… beyond the porosity of the structure, the relative tube orientation significantly affects the observed mechanical properties,” stated the researchers. “In general, we can see that the direction that is perpendicular to the nanotubes arrangements, which is the x-direction, presents the toughest and more elastic structures with decreasing porosity. Similar behavior was reported to other CNT nets, and the reasons are that is much more difficult to deform the tubes vertically than radially.”

Stress-strain curves from MD simulations of structures 1, 2, and 3 for the compressive tests along (a) x-direction and (b) z-direction. The insets show the zoomed region of the initial compressive regimes.

Stress-strain curves exhibited good qualitative agreement, along with reflecting that mechanical properties are scale-dependent, determined by topology of the structure.

Experimental stress-strain curves for compressive tests of structures 1, 2, and 3 along (a) x-direction and (b) z-direction. The insets show the zoomed region of the initial compressive regimes.

Overall, results showed that the structures 3D printed by the researchers for this study were successfully fabricated as they were able to reach the intended goal of bearing the high compressive loads without giving into failure structurally.

“There is a good qualitative agreement for the mechanical behavior of the atomic models and the corresponding 3D printed macro-scale ones,” stated the researchers. “Some of the discrepancies are due to the intrinsic 3D printed layer-by-layer process.”

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: ‘Zeolite-templated 3D printed carbon nanotube networks with enhanced mechanical properties’]

Share this Article


Recent News

$21M Round Fuels 2 Million Points of Metal 3D Printing Light from Seurat

Middle East Deal Spreads 3D Printing Influence of China’s Farsoon



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

To End Animal Testing, BICO & CCS Push FDA Modernization Act

As the world continues developing alternatives to animal testing like bioprinting, in vitro models of human tissues, and predictive computer models, the demand for live animal testing has become outdated...

India’s Primaeam Solutions Opens 3D Printing Service with Materialise

Primaeam Solutions Pvt Ltd, an additive manufacturing (AM) services has announced the opening of a new, 10,000 sq. ft. service bureau located in the firm’s home city of Chennai, the...

3D Printing News Briefs, January 5, 2022: Software, Research, & More

We’re kicking off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with 3D software, as Materialise has integrated Siemens’ Parasolid with its own Magics software. Moving on, The Virtual Foundry launched a metal...

“World’s Largest Real Concrete 3D Printed Building” Goes up in Oman

COBOD’s additive construction technology has been deployed worldwide, from Germany to Kenya, the U.S. to Belgium. The latest location for the Danish firm’s construction 3D printer is Oman, where COBOD...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.