Harvard Publication: 3D-Printing of Lightweight Cellular Composites

July 01, 2014

Researchers at Harvard University (Brett G. Compton and Jennifer A. Lewis) have developed an epoxy-based ink using ACM's SI-TUFF™ Performance SiC products. The ink "enables 3D printing of cellular composites with controlled alignment of multi-scale, high aspect ratio fiber reinforcement to create hierarchical structures inspired by balsa wood." These materials exhibit stiffness which is an order of magnitude greater than current materials used in commercial 3D printing.

Because of their high aspect ratio, SI-TUFF™ silicon carbide microfibers "align under the shear and extensional flow field that develops within the micronozzle during printing, resulting in enhanced stiffening in the cured composite along the printing direction." "This capability adds an antireley new dimension to engineering design and optimization, where composition, stiffness, and toughness within a bulk 3D object can be digitally integrated with component design to achieve a highly optimized structure."

For the full publication, please visit Prof. Jennifer Lewis' Harvard University Research Lab Website. This paper was published in Advanced Materials in June 2014.

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