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  • Un progetto "open"

  • Come iniziare l’avventura 3D

  • E per cominciare...la BOM

  • Elettronica di controllo

  • Slicing e software di controllo

  • Slic3r for Dummies

Virginia Tech team successfully 3D prints Kapton using direct ink writing

Nov 21, 2018 | By Cameron

Virginia Tech team successfully 3D prints Kapton using direct ink writing

Two teams of Virginia Tech researchers have developed a way to 3D print poly (4,4'-oxydiphenylene-pyromellitimide), otherwise known as Kapton. Most will know Kapton from the yellow film on satellites that is often mistaken as gold foil, but those familiar with 3D printing will also know Kapton as a liner used on the beds of FDM 3D printers. The reason Kapton is used in space and on 3D printers is that it remains stable across a wide range of temperatures, from -269 to 400°C. It makes for a great thermal and electrical insulator in vacuum environments thanks to its low outgassing rate and high thermal conductivity at low temperatures.

Kapton is found in many electronics, from TVs to smartphones, and is also ideal for flexible printed circuits and thermal blankets. But as useful as Kapton is, it’s equally difficult to manufacture, at least in any format that isn’t a thin film. The amazing thermal properties come from the all-aromatic molecular structure, a structure that, up until now, could only be produced in sheets. The new process involves using mask‐projection stereolithography (SLA) on a soluble precursor polymer containing photo‐crosslinkable acrylate groups that enable light-induced chemical crosslinking for spacial control. The 3D print is then thermally treated to transform the crosslinked precursor polymer to Kapton.

Virginia Tech team successfully 3D prints Kapton using direct ink writing

Professor Timothy Long with the Department of Chemistry and director of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII) in Virginia Tech’s Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science made one of the first discoveries of the project with postdoctoral researcher Maruti Hegde, who is now a research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Together, along with their team of graduate students, they developed the first polymer synthesis design that allowed the polyimide to be 3D printed. “We chose a fairly ubiquitous high-temperature and high-strength polymer because we wanted to enable a rapid impact on existing technologies,” Long said.

In order to refine the 3D printing process, the project then moved into the hands of doctoral students Viswanath Meenakshisundaram and Nicholas Chartrain at the lab of Christopher Williams, associate professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and leader of the Design, Research, and Education for Additive Manufacturing Systems (DREAMS) Laboratory. Williams explained, “Now that we can 3D print these materials, we can start designing and printing them into much more complex 3D shapes, which allows us to take advantage of their excellent properties over a much broader range of applications.” They were able to produce a very small chess piece and lattice structure that demonstrate the complexity of designs that are possible.

Virginia Tech team successfully 3D prints Kapton using direct ink writing

Regarding the material’s heat-resistant ceiling before degradation of 1,020° Fahrenheit, Williams commented  “We are now able to print the highest temperature polymer ever – about 285° Fahrenheit higher in deflection temperature than any other existing printable polymer. Additionally, our 3D printed material has equivalent strength to the conventionally processed thin-film Kapton material.”

After a year of testing the material’s performance in extreme heat and cold, their work was published in the Advanced Materials Journal. This breakthrough will enable the creation of more customized solutions, as Williams points out, “We can imagine this being used for printing a satellite structure, serving as a high-temp filter or a high-temp flow nozzle.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

 

 

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Read more http://www.3ders.org/articles/20181121-virginia-tech-team-successfully-3d-prints-kapton-direct-ink-writing.html