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.”
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.
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 exhibited good qualitative agreement, along with reflecting that mechanical properties are scale-dependent, determined by topology of the structure.
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’]
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
Velo3D Is the First Metal 3D Printer OEM with the Highest-Level DoD Cybersecurity Compliance
Velo3D, the metal additive manufacturing (AM) original equipment manufacturer (OEM) based in Fremont, CA, has become the first metal AM OEM to achieve Green Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) Compliance...
BAE Systems Taps AML3D to 3D Print Metal Frigate Prototype
BAE Systems Maritime Australia (BAESMA), a division of the UK’s BAE Systems, has given a contract to Australian metal additive manufacturing (AM) original equipment manufacturer (OEM) AML3D, to produce and...
Reshaping Global Supply Chains: The UK’s First Advanced Manufacturing Plan
The day before the Biden administration announced around 30 broad-sweeping economic actions planned by the White House for 2024 and beyond — all surrounding the establishment of a new Council...
$138M to Support Ursa Major’s 3D Printed Rocket Engines
Earlier this year, TechCrunch revealed that Ursa Major Technologies, the Colorado-based startup specializing in using additive manufacturing (AM) for modular rocket engines, had taken in $100 million in its Series...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.