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Fabrication of Graphene-Reinforced Nanocomposites with Improved Fracture Toughness in Net Shape for Complex 3D Structures via Digital Light Processing

1
Gemmological Institute, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Engineering Research Centre of Nano-Geomaterials of Ministry of Education, Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
3
School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 28 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Reinforced Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Abstract

A solvent-free method to fabricate graphene-reinforced nanocomposites in net shape via digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing has been developed in this work. The effect of graphene nanofillers on resin viscosity and wettability for various printing parameters has been examined, with a systematic characterization of the mechanical and thermomechanical properties. With the addition of 0.5 wt.% graphene nanoplatelets in the resin, the flexural modulus and fracture toughness have been improved by 14% and 28% from neat resin, respectively. Thermomechanical properties of graphene-reinforced nanocomposites were also enhanced compared with the neat resin, without scarification in their printability. The feasibility of utilizing the DLP method to fabricate a fracture toughness specimen (KIC test) without complex skill-dependent notch preparation steps was explored, with different notch tip angles printed for net-shaped specimens. This provided a simple and versatile way to perform a quick examination of reinforcing efficiency from nanofillers at very low cost with high resolution and reproducibility. To demonstrate the suitability of current resins for complexly shaped structures, a gyroid scaffold for tissue engineering applications based on current graphene nanocomposite resins has been successfully fabricated via DLP, showing the great potential of current photocurable resins for applications in various fields such as tissue engineering or personalized medical devices without the cost barriers of traditional methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene; additive manufacturing; digital light processing; fracture toughness; mechanical properties graphene; additive manufacturing; digital light processing; fracture toughness; mechanical properties
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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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Feng, Z.; Li, Y.; Xin, C.; Tang, D.; Xiong, W.; Zhang, H. Fabrication of Graphene-Reinforced Nanocomposites with Improved Fracture Toughness in Net Shape for Complex 3D Structures via Digital Light Processing. C 2019, 5, 25.

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