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Materials 2019, 12(2), 244;

Effect of Moisture on Shape Memory Polyurethane Polymers for Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G8, Canada
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G2G8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 12 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Materials in 2018: Overview and Applications)
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Extrusion-based additive manufacturing (EBAM) or 3D printing is used to produce customized prototyped parts. The majority of the polymers used with EBAM show moisture sensitivity. However, moisture effects become more pronounced in polymers used for critical applications, such as biomedical stents, sensors, and actuators. The effects of moisture on the manufacturing process and the long-term performance of Shape Memory Polyurethane (SMPU) have not been fully investigated in the literature. This study focuses primarily on block-copolymer SMPUs that have two different hard/soft (h/s) segment ratios. It investigates the effect of moisture on the various properties via studying: (i) the effect of moisture trapping within these polymers and the consequences when manufacturing; (ii) and the effect on end product performance of plasticization by moisture. Results indicate that higher h/s SMPU shows higher microphase separation, which leads to an increase of moisture trapping within the polymer. Understanding moisture trapping is critical for EBAM parts due to an increase in void content and a decrease in printing quality. The results also indicate a stronger plasticizing effect on polymers with lower h/s ratio but with a more forgiving printing behavior compared to the higher h/s ratio. View Full-Text
Keywords: shape-memory polyurethanes; extrusion-based additive manufacturing; moisture effects shape-memory polyurethanes; extrusion-based additive manufacturing; moisture effects

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Garces, I.T.; Aslanzadeh, S.; Boluk, Y.; Ayranci, C. Effect of Moisture on Shape Memory Polyurethane Polymers for Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing. Materials 2019, 12, 244.

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