Advanced Manufacturing for Polymers (Closed)

A topical collection in Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This collection belongs to the section "Polymer Processing and Engineering".

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Editor

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advanced manufacturing is a key driver for Industry 4.0. Among all the advanced manufacturing techniques, additive manufacturing (AM) methods have grown and evolved rapidly in recent years. Within these developments, AM for polymers and polymer matrix composites is an exciting field and has great potential in transformative and translational research in many fields, such as biomedical, aerospace, and even electronics.

In this collection, state-of-the-art reviews and current research results, which focus on the process–structure–properties relationships in polymer AM, will be reported. This includes, but is not limited to, assessing the effect of process parameters, post-processing, and characterization techniques. Submissions related to novel applications, designs, processes, characterization methods or integration of other drivers for Industry 4.0 (e.g., artificial intelligence, robotics, etc.) with polymer AM are also welcomed.

Contributions focused on any of the following topics are of particular interest:

  • Materials, processes and machines;
  • Process monitoring, modeling, and control;
  • Design for AM;
  • Development of novel polymers or soft materials for AM;
  • Artificial intelligence or data analytics applied on polymers AM;
  • New applications of polymers AM in the industries.

Dr. Swee Leong Sing
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • additive manufacturing
  • 3D printing
  • artificial intelligence
  • data analytics
  • machine learning
  • polymers
  • mechanical properties
  • microstructure analysis

Related Special Issues

Published Papers (24 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021, 2020

18 pages, 13254 KiB  
Article
Rotary Friction Welding of Dissimilar Polymer Rods Containing Metal Powder
by Chil-Chyuan Kuo, Hong-Wei Chen and Song-Hua Huang
Polymers 2023, 15(22), 4354; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15224354 - 8 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 994
Abstract
Three-dimensional printing is widely used for manufacturing a variety of functional components. However, the 3D printing machine substantially limits the size of the functional components. Rotary friction welding (RFW) is a possible solution to this problem. In addition, there is a notable scarcity [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional printing is widely used for manufacturing a variety of functional components. However, the 3D printing machine substantially limits the size of the functional components. Rotary friction welding (RFW) is a possible solution to this problem. In addition, there is a notable scarcity of research directed toward the domain knowledge of RFW involving dissimilar polymer rods containing metal powder. In this study, two welding specimens fabricated by polylactic acid (PLA)-containing copper powder and PLA-containing aluminum powder were joined using a turning machine. After RFW, a bending test and a Shore A surface hardness test were performed to investigate the weld quality. It was found that the bending strength of the welded parts fabricated by RFW of PLA and PLA-containing Al powder rods can be enhanced by about 57.5% when the welded part is placed at 45 °C. Surface hardness test results showed that the surface hardness of the weld interface is better than that of the 3D printed parts, and the average surface hardness of the weld interface from RFW of PLA and PLA is the highest. The surface hardness of the weld joint is about 3% higher than that of the base material. The surface hardness of the heat-affected zone is about 3% lower than that of the base material. The average peak temperature of the welded joint is the highest in the RFW of PLA-containing Al powder and PLA-containing Al powder rods. The average peak temperature of the weld joint can be as high as 160 °C. The average peak temperature of the welded joint is the highest in the RFW of PLA-containing Cu powder and PLA-containing Cu powder rods. The average peak temperature of the welded joint can be as high as 144 °C. A technical database was built for the selection of ambient temperatures used for the RFW of dissimilar polymer rods containing metal powder and three base materials. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021, 2020

2 pages, 185 KiB  
Editorial
Recent Progress in Research of Additive Manufacturing for Polymers
by Swee Leong Sing and Wai Yee Yeong
Polymers 2022, 14(11), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14112267 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) methods have grown and evolved rapidly in recent years [...] Full article
17 pages, 8208 KiB  
Article
Low Temperature Powder Bed Fusion of Polymers by Means of Fractal Quasi-Simultaneous Exposure Strategies
by Samuel Schlicht, Sandra Greiner and Dietmar Drummer
Polymers 2022, 14(7), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14071428 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3054
Abstract
Powder Bed Fusion of Polymers (PBF-LB/P) is a layer-wise additive manufacturing process that predominantly relies on the quasi-isothermal processing of semi-crystalline polymers, inherently limiting the spectrum of polymers suitable for quasi-isothermal PBF. Within the present paper, a novel approach for extending the isothermal [...] Read more.
Powder Bed Fusion of Polymers (PBF-LB/P) is a layer-wise additive manufacturing process that predominantly relies on the quasi-isothermal processing of semi-crystalline polymers, inherently limiting the spectrum of polymers suitable for quasi-isothermal PBF. Within the present paper, a novel approach for extending the isothermal processing window towards significantly lower temperatures by applying the quasi-simultaneous laser-based exposure of fractal scan paths is proposed. The proposed approach is based on the temporal and spatial discretization of the melting and subsequent crystallization of semi-crystalline thermoplastics, hence allowing for the mesoscale compensation of crystallization shrinkage of distinct segments. Using thermographic monitoring, a homogenous temperature increase of discrete exposed sub-segments, limited thermal interference of distinct segments, and the resulting avoidance of curling and warping can be observed. Manufactured parts exhibit a dense and lamellar part morphology with a nano-scale semi-crystalline structure. The presented approach represents a novel methodology that allows for significantly reducing energy consumption, process preparation times and temperature-induced material aging in PBF-LB/P while representing the foundation for the processing of novel, thermo-sensitive material systems in PBF-LB/P. Full article
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11 pages, 22692 KiB  
Article
Analysis of UV Curing Strategy on Reaction Heat Control and Part Accuracy for Additive Manufacturing
by Fengze Jiang and Dietmar Drummer
Polymers 2022, 14(4), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14040759 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3004
Abstract
In this research, the relationship between the curing strategies and geometrical accuracy of parts under UV light was investigated. An IR camera was utilized to monitor the process using different combinations of photosensitive resin and curing strategies. The influences of curing strategies on [...] Read more.
In this research, the relationship between the curing strategies and geometrical accuracy of parts under UV light was investigated. An IR camera was utilized to monitor the process using different combinations of photosensitive resin and curing strategies. The influences of curing strategies on different material compositions were studied with single-factor analysis. With the different exposure frequencies of the UV light, the peak temperature was adjusted to avoid overheating. The three-dimensional geometry of casting tensile bars was measured to investigate the shrinkage and warpage during the curing process. Different material compositions were also selected to study the effects of the maximum temperature on the shrinkage of the parts. The findings of this work show that, with the same amount of energy input, a more fragmented exposure allows for a more controllable max temperature, while one-time exposure leads to a high temperature during the process. With the decrease of the released heat from the reaction, the shrinkage of the casting part has a slightly increasing tendency. Moreover, the warpage of the parts decreased drastically with the decrease of temperature. The addition of fillers enhances the control over temperature and increases the geometrical accuracy. Full article
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19 pages, 6971 KiB  
Article
New Methodology for Evaluating Surface Quality of Experimental Aerodynamic Models Manufactured by Polymer Jetting Additive Manufacturing
by Razvan Udroiu
Polymers 2022, 14(3), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14030371 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
The additive manufacturing (AM) applications have attracted a great deal of interest with regard to experimental aerodynamic studies. There is a need for a universal roughness scale that characterizes different materials used in aerodynamic research. The main purpose of this paper is identification [...] Read more.
The additive manufacturing (AM) applications have attracted a great deal of interest with regard to experimental aerodynamic studies. There is a need for a universal roughness scale that characterizes different materials used in aerodynamic research. The main purpose of this paper is identification of the potential of a material jetting AM process to produce accurate aerodynamic surfaces. A new methodology to evaluate the roughness of aerodynamic profiles (airfoils) was proposed. A very short-span wing artifact for preliminary tests and a long-span wing model were proposed for design of experiments. Different artifacts orientations were analyzed, maintaining the same surface quality on the upper and lower surface of the wing. A translucent polymeric resin was used for samples manufacturing by polymer jetting (PolyJet) technology. The effects of main factors on the surface roughness of the wing were investigated using the statistical design of experiments. Three interest locations, meaning the leading-edge, central, and trailing-edge zones, on the upper and lower surfaces of the airfoil were considered. The best results were obtained for a sample oriented at XY on the build platform, in matte finish type, with a mean Ra roughness in the range of 2 to 3.5 μm. Microscopy studies were performed to analyze and characterize the surfaces of the wing samples on their different zones. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2020

11 pages, 2909 KiB  
Article
Comparison between Tests and Simulations Regarding Bending Resistance of 3D Printed PLA Structures
by Dorin-Ioan Catana, Mihai-Alin Pop and Denisa-Iulia Brus
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4371; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244371 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
Additive manufacturing is one of the technologies that is beginning to be used in new fields of parts production, but it is also a technology that is constantly evolving, due to the advances made by researchers and printing equipment. The paper presents how, [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing is one of the technologies that is beginning to be used in new fields of parts production, but it is also a technology that is constantly evolving, due to the advances made by researchers and printing equipment. The paper presents how, by using the simulation process, the geometry of the 3D printed structures from PLA and PLA-Glass was optimized at the bending stress. The optimization aimed to reduce the consumption of filament (material) simultaneously with an increase in the bending resistance. In addition, this paper demonstrates that the simulation process can only be applied with good results to 3D printed structures when their mechanical properties are known. The inconsistency of printing process parameters makes the 3D printed structures not homogeneous and, consequently, the occurrence of errors between the test results and those of simulations become natural and acceptable. The mechanical properties depend on the values of the printing process parameters and the printing equipment because, in the case of 3D printing, it is necessary for each combination of parameters to determine their mechanical properties through specific tests. Full article
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13 pages, 2426 KiB  
Article
Biodegradable PGA/PBAT Blends for 3D Printing: Material Performance and Periodic Minimal Surface Structures
by Zihui Zhang, Fengtai He, Bo Wang, Yiping Zhao, Zhiyong Wei, Hao Zhang and Lin Sang
Polymers 2021, 13(21), 3757; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13213757 - 30 Oct 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4101
Abstract
Biodegradable polymers have been rapidly developed for alleviating excessive consumption of non-degradable plastics. Additive manufacturing is also a green energy-efficiency and environment-protection technique to fabricate complicated structures. Herein, biodegradable polyesters, polyglycolic acid (PGA) and poly (butyleneadipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) were blended and developed into feedstock [...] Read more.
Biodegradable polymers have been rapidly developed for alleviating excessive consumption of non-degradable plastics. Additive manufacturing is also a green energy-efficiency and environment-protection technique to fabricate complicated structures. Herein, biodegradable polyesters, polyglycolic acid (PGA) and poly (butyleneadipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) were blended and developed into feedstock for 3D printing. Under a set of formulations, PGA/PBAT blends exhibited a tailored stiffness-toughness mechanical performance. Then, PGA/PBAT (85/15 in weight ratio) with good thermal stability and mechanical property were extruded into filaments with a uniform wire diameter. Mechanical testing clearly indicated that FDM 3D-printed exhibited comparable tensile, flexural and impact properties with injection-molded samples of PGA/PBAT (85/15). Furthermore, uniform and graded Diamond-Triply Periodic Minimal Surfaces (D-TPMS) structures were designed and successfully manufactured via the fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique. Computer tomography (CT) was employed to confirm the internal three-dimensional structures. The compressive test results showed that PGA/PBAT (85/15) D-surface structures bear better load-carrying capacity than that of neat PGA, giving an advantage of energy absorption. Additionally, typical industrial parts were manufactured with excellent dimension-stability, no-wrapping and fine quality. Collectively, biodegradable PGA/PBAT material with good printability has great potentials in application requiring stiffer structures. Full article
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21 pages, 9920 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties of PolyJet 3D-Printed Composites Inspired by Space-Filling Peano Curves
by Changlang Wu, Truong Tho Do and Phuong Tran
Polymers 2021, 13(20), 3516; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13203516 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2864
Abstract
This paper proposes a design of novel composite materials inspired by the Peano curve and manufactured using PolyJet 3D printing technology with Agilus30 (flexible phase) and VeroMagentaV (rigid phase) materials. Mechanical properties were evaluated through tensile and compression tests. The general rule of [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a design of novel composite materials inspired by the Peano curve and manufactured using PolyJet 3D printing technology with Agilus30 (flexible phase) and VeroMagentaV (rigid phase) materials. Mechanical properties were evaluated through tensile and compression tests. The general rule of mixture (ROM) for composites was employed to approximate the tensile properties of the hybrid materials and compare them to the experimental results. The effect of reinforcement alignments and different hierarchies are discussed. The results indicated that the 5% inclusion of the Peano reinforcement in tensile samples contributed to the improvement in the elastic modulus by up to 6 MPa, but provided no obvious enhancement in ultimate tensile strength. Additionally, compressive strengths between 2 MPa and 6 MPa were observed for compression cubes with first-order reinforcement, while lower values around 2 MPa were found for samples with second-order reinforcement. That is to say, the first-order reinforcement has been demonstrated more effectively than the second-order reinforcement, given the same reinforcement volume fraction of 10% in compression cubes. Different second-order designs exhibited slightly different mechanical properties based on the ratio of reinforcement parallel to the loading direction. Full article
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20 pages, 3099 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Potential Plasticizing Effect of Di-Carboxylic Acids for the Manufacturing of Solid Oral Forms with Copovidone and Ibuprofen by Selective Laser Sintering
by Yanis Abdelhamid Gueche, Noelia M. Sanchez-Ballester, Bernard Bataille, Adrien Aubert, Jean-Christophe Rossi and Ian Soulairol
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3282; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193282 - 26 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2113
Abstract
In selective laser sintering (SLS), the heating temperature is a critical parameter for printability but can also be deleterious for the stability of active ingredients. This work aims to explore the plasticizing effect of di-carboxylic acids on reducing the optimal heating temperature (OHT) [...] Read more.
In selective laser sintering (SLS), the heating temperature is a critical parameter for printability but can also be deleterious for the stability of active ingredients. This work aims to explore the plasticizing effect of di-carboxylic acids on reducing the optimal heating temperature (OHT) of polymer powder during SLS. First, mixtures of copovidone and di-carboxylic acids (succinic, fumaric, maleic, malic and tartaric acids) as well as formulations with two forms of ibuprofen (acid and sodium salt) were prepared to sinter solid oral forms (SOFs), and their respective OHT was determined. Plasticization was further studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Following this, the printed SOFs were characterized (solid state, weight, hardness, disintegration time, drug content and release). It was found that all acids (except tartaric acid) reduced the OHT, with succinic acid being the most efficient. In the case of ibuprofen, only the acid form demonstrated a plasticizing effect. DSC and FTIR corroborated these observations showing a decrease in the glass transition temperature and the presence of interactions, respectively. Furthermore, the properties of the sintered SOFs were not affected by plasticization and the API was not degraded in all formulations. In conclusion, this study is a proof-of-concept that processability in SLS can improve with the use of di-carboxylic acids. Full article
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16 pages, 2381 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties and In Vitro Evaluation of Thermoplastic Polyurethane and Polylactic Acid Blend for Fabrication of 3D Filaments for Tracheal Tissue Engineering
by Asmak Abdul Samat, Zuratul Ain Abdul Hamid, Mariatti Jaafar and Badrul Hisham Yahaya
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183087 - 13 Sep 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3183
Abstract
Surgical reconstruction of extensive tracheal lesions is challenging. It requires a mechanically stable, biocompatible, and nontoxic material that gradually degrades. One of the possible solutions for overcoming the limitations of tracheal transplantation is a three-dimensional (3D) printed tracheal scaffold made of polymers. Polymer [...] Read more.
Surgical reconstruction of extensive tracheal lesions is challenging. It requires a mechanically stable, biocompatible, and nontoxic material that gradually degrades. One of the possible solutions for overcoming the limitations of tracheal transplantation is a three-dimensional (3D) printed tracheal scaffold made of polymers. Polymer blending is one of the methods used to produce material for a trachea scaffold with tailored characteristics. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mechanical and in vitro properties of a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polylactic acid (PLA) blend as a potential material for 3D printed tracheal scaffolds. Both materials were melt-blended using a single screw extruder. The morphologies (as well as the mechanical and thermal characteristics) were determined via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, tensile test, and Differential Scanning calorimetry (DSC). The samples were also evaluated for their water absorption, in vitro biodegradability, and biocompatibility. It is demonstrated that, despite being not miscible, TPU and PLA are biocompatible, and their promising properties are suitable for future applications in tracheal tissue engineering. Full article
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16 pages, 5800 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Field Structured Magnetic Composites
by Balakrishnan Nagarajan, Yingnan Wang, Maryam Taheri, Simon Trudel, Steven Bryant, Ahmed Jawad Qureshi and Pierre Mertiny
Polymers 2021, 13(17), 2843; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13172843 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Polymer composites containing ferromagnetic fillers are promising for applications relating to electrical and electronic devices. In this research, the authors modified an ultraviolet light (UV) curable prepolymer to additionally cure upon heating and validated a permanent magnet-based particle alignment system toward fabricating anisotropic [...] Read more.
Polymer composites containing ferromagnetic fillers are promising for applications relating to electrical and electronic devices. In this research, the authors modified an ultraviolet light (UV) curable prepolymer to additionally cure upon heating and validated a permanent magnet-based particle alignment system toward fabricating anisotropic magnetic composites. The developed dual-cure acrylate-based resin, reinforced with ferromagnetic fillers, was first tested for its ability to polymerize through UV and heat. Then, the magnetic alignment setup was used to orient magnetic particles in the dual-cure acrylate-based resin and a heat curable epoxy resin system in a polymer casting approach. The alignment setup was subsequently integrated with a material jetting 3D printer, and the dual-cure resin was dispensed and cured in-situ using UV, followed by thermal post-curing. The resulting magnetic composites were tested for their filler loading, microstructural morphology, alignment of the easy axis of magnetization, and degree of monomer conversion. Magnetic characterization was conducted using a vibrating sample magnetometer along the in-plane and out-of-plane directions to study anisotropic properties. This research establishes a methodology to combine magnetic field induced particle alignment along with a dual-cure resin to create anisotropic magnetic composites through polymer casting and additive manufacturing. Full article
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19 pages, 2097 KiB  
Review
The State of the Art of Material Jetting—A Critical Review
by Orhan Gülcan, Kadir Günaydın and Aykut Tamer
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2829; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162829 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 99 | Viewed by 11679
Abstract
Material jetting (MJ) technology is an additive manufacturing method that selectively cures liquid photopolymer to build functional parts. The use of MJ technology has increased in popularity and been adapted by different industries, ranging from biomedicine and dentistry to manufacturing and aviation, thanks [...] Read more.
Material jetting (MJ) technology is an additive manufacturing method that selectively cures liquid photopolymer to build functional parts. The use of MJ technology has increased in popularity and been adapted by different industries, ranging from biomedicine and dentistry to manufacturing and aviation, thanks to its advantages in printing parts with high dimensional accuracy and low surface roughness. To better understand the MJ technology, it is essential to address the capabilities, applications and the usage areas of MJ. Additionally, the comparison of MJ with alternative methods and its limitations need to be explained. Moreover, the parameters influencing the dimensional accuracy and mechanical properties of MJ printed parts should be stated. This paper aims to review these critical aspects of MJ manufacturing altogether to provide an overall insight into the state of the art of MJ. Full article
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2 pages, 162 KiB  
Editorial
Process–Structure–Properties in Polymer Additive Manufacturing
by Swee Leong Sing and Wai Yee Yeong
Polymers 2021, 13(7), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13071098 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2087
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM) methods have grown and evolved rapidly in recent years [...] Full article

2020

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021

16 pages, 12297 KiB  
Article
Additively Manufactured Parts Made of a Polymer Material Used for the Experimental Verification of a Component of a High-Speed Machine with an Optimised Geometry—Preliminary Research
by Artur Andrearczyk, Bartlomiej Konieczny and Jerzy Sokołowski
Polymers 2021, 13(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010137 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
This paper describes a novel method for the experimental validation of numerically optimised turbomachinery components. In the field of additive manufacturing, numerical models still need to be improved, especially with the experimental data. The paper presents the operational characteristics of a compressor wheel, [...] Read more.
This paper describes a novel method for the experimental validation of numerically optimised turbomachinery components. In the field of additive manufacturing, numerical models still need to be improved, especially with the experimental data. The paper presents the operational characteristics of a compressor wheel, measured during experimental research. The validation process included conducting a computational flow analysis and experimental tests of two compressor wheels: The aluminium wheel and the 3D printed wheel (made of a polymer material). The chosen manufacturing technology and the results obtained made it possible to determine the speed range in which the operation of the tested machine is stable. In addition, dynamic destructive tests were performed on the polymer disc and their results were compared with the results of the strength analysis. The tests were carried out at high rotational speeds (up to 120,000 rpm). The results of the research described above have proven the utility of this technology in the research and development of high-speed turbomachines operating at speeds up to 90,000 rpm. The research results obtained show that the technology used is suitable for multi-variant optimization of the tested machine part. This work has also contributed to the further development of numerical models. Full article
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17 pages, 8313 KiB  
Article
Crystallization and Thermal Behaviors of Poly(ethylene terephthalate)/Bisphenols Complexes through Melt Post-Polycondensation
by Shichang Chen, Shangdong Xie, Shanshan Guang, Jianna Bao, Xianming Zhang and Wenxing Chen
Polymers 2020, 12(12), 3053; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12123053 - 19 Dec 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3704
Abstract
Three kinds of modified poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) were prepared by solution blending combined with melt post-polycondensation, using 4,4′-thiodiphenol (TDP), 4,4′-oxydiphenol (ODP) and hydroquinone (HQ) as the bisphenols, respectively. The effects of TDP, ODP and HQ on melt post-polycondensation process and crystallization kinetics, melting [...] Read more.
Three kinds of modified poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) were prepared by solution blending combined with melt post-polycondensation, using 4,4′-thiodiphenol (TDP), 4,4′-oxydiphenol (ODP) and hydroquinone (HQ) as the bisphenols, respectively. The effects of TDP, ODP and HQ on melt post-polycondensation process and crystallization kinetics, melting behaviors, crystallinity and thermal stability of PET/bisphenols complexes were investigated in detail. Excellent chain growth of PET could be achieved by addition of 1 wt% bisphenols, but intrinsic viscosity of modified PET decreased with further bisphenols content. Intermolecular hydrogen bonding between carbonyl groups of PET and hydroxyl groups of bisphenols were verified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Compare to pure PET, both the crystallization rate and melting temperatures of PET/bisphenols complexes were reduced obviously, suggesting an impeded crystallization and reduced lamellar thickness. Moreover, the structural difference between TDP, ODP and HQ played an important role on crystallization kinetics. It was proposed that the crystallization rate of TDP modified PET was reduced significantly due to the larger amount of rigid benzene ring and larger polarity than that of PET with ODP or HQ. X-ray diffraction results showed that the crystalline structure of PET did not change from the incorporation of bisphenols, but crystallinity of PET decreased with increasing bisphenols content. Thermal stability of modified PET declined slightly, which was hardly affected by the molecular structure of bisphenols. Full article
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12 pages, 2554 KiB  
Article
PVDF-BaTiO3 Nanocomposite Inkjet Inks with Enhanced β-Phase Crystallinity for Printed Electronics
by Hamed Abdolmaleki and Shweta Agarwala
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2430; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102430 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 5554
Abstract
Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) and its copolymers are promising electroactive polymers showing outstanding ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric properties in comparison with other organic materials. They have shown promise for applications in flexible sensors, energy-harvesting transducers, electronic skins, and flexible memories due to their biocompatibility, [...] Read more.
Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) and its copolymers are promising electroactive polymers showing outstanding ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and pyroelectric properties in comparison with other organic materials. They have shown promise for applications in flexible sensors, energy-harvesting transducers, electronic skins, and flexible memories due to their biocompatibility, high chemical stability, bending and stretching abilities. PVDF can crystallize at five different phases of α, β, γ, δ, and ε; however, ferro-, piezo-, and pyroelectric properties of this polymer only originate from polar phases of β and γ. In this research, we reported fabrication of PVDF inkjet inks with enhanced β-phase crystallinity by incorporating barium titanate nanoparticles (BaTiO3). BaTiO3 not only acts as a nucleating agent to induce β-phase crystallinity, but it also improves the electric properties of PVDF through synergistic a ferroelectric polarization effect. PVDF-BaTiO3 nanocomposite inkjet inks with different BaTiO3 concentrations were prepared by wet ball milling coupled with bath ultrasonication. It was observed that the sample with 5 w% of BaTiO3 had the highest β-phase crystallinity, while in higher ratios overall crystallinity deteriorated progressively, leading to more amorphous structures. Full article
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23 pages, 2622 KiB  
Article
Helicoidally Arranged Polyacrylonitrile Fiber-Reinforced Strong and Impact-Resistant Thin Polyvinyl Alcohol Film Enabled by Electrospinning-Based Additive Manufacturing
by Rahul Sahay, Komal Agarwal, Anbazhagan Subramani, Nagarajan Raghavan, Arief S. Budiman and Avinash Baji
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2376; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102376 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3654
Abstract
In this study, we demonstrate the use of parallel plate far field electrospinning (pp-FFES) based manufacturing system for the fabrication of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber reinforced polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) strong polymer thin films (PVA SPTF). Parallel plate far field electrospinning (also known as the [...] Read more.
In this study, we demonstrate the use of parallel plate far field electrospinning (pp-FFES) based manufacturing system for the fabrication of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber reinforced polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) strong polymer thin films (PVA SPTF). Parallel plate far field electrospinning (also known as the gap electrospinning) is generally used to produce uniaxially aligned fibers between the two parallel collector plates. In the first step, a disc containing PVA/H2O solution/bath (matrix material) was placed in between the two parallel plate collectors. Next, a layer of uniaxially aligned sub-micron PAN fibers (filler material) produced by pp-FFES was directly collected/embedded in the PVA/H2O solution by bringing the fibers in contact with the matrix. Next, the disc containing the matrix solution was rotated at 45° angular offset and then the next layer of the uniaxial fibers was collected/stacked on top of the previous layer with now 45° rotation between the two layers. This process was continued progressively by stacking the layers of uniaxially aligned arrays of fibers at 45° angular offsets, until a periodic pattern was achieved. In total, 13 such layers were laid within the matrix solution to make a helicoidal geometry with three pitches. The results demonstrate that embedding the helicoidal PAN fibers within the PVA enables efficient load transfer during high rate loading such as impact. The fabricated PVA strong polymer thin films with helicoidally arranged PAN fiber reinforcement (PVA SPTF-HA) show specific tensile strength 5 MPa·cm3·g−1 and can sustain specific impact energy (8 ± 0.9) mJ·cm3·g−1, which is superior to that of the pure PVA thin film (PVA TF) and PVA SPTF with randomly oriented PAN fiber reinforcement (PVA SPTF-RO). The novel fabrication methodology enables the further capability to produce even further smaller fibers (sub-micron down to even nanometer scales) and by the virtue of its layer-by-layer processing (in the manner of an additive manufacturing methodology) allowing further modulation of interfacial and inter-fiber adherence with the matrix materials. These parameters allow greater control and tunability of impact performances of the synthetic materials for various applications from army combat wear to sports and biomedical/wearable applications. Full article
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20 pages, 7211 KiB  
Article
Novel Method for the Manufacture of Complex CFRP Parts Using FDM-based Molds
by Paul Bere, Calin Neamtu and Razvan Udroiu
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102220 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4193
Abstract
Fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP) have attracted much interest within many industrial fields where the use of 3D printed molds can provide significant cost and time savings in the production of composite tooling. Within this paper, a novel method for the manufacture of complex-shaped FRP [...] Read more.
Fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP) have attracted much interest within many industrial fields where the use of 3D printed molds can provide significant cost and time savings in the production of composite tooling. Within this paper, a novel method for the manufacture of complex-shaped FRP parts has been proposed. This paper features a new design of bike saddle, which was manufactured through the use of molds created by fused deposition modeling (FDM), of which two 3D printable materials were selected, polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and these molds were then chemically and thermally treated. The novel bike saddles were fabricated using carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), by vacuum bag technology and oven curing, utilizing additive manufactured (AM) molds. Following manufacture the molded parts were subjected to a quality inspection, using non-contact three-dimensional (3D) scanning techniques, where the results were then statistically analyzed. The statistically analyzed results state that the main deviations between the CAD model and the manufactured CFRP parts were within the range of ±1 mm. Additionally, the weight of the upper part of the saddles was found to be 42 grams. The novel method is primarily intended to be used for customized products using CFRPs. Full article
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18 pages, 4052 KiB  
Review
3D Printing of Fibre-Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites Using Fused Filament Fabrication—A Review
by Andrew N. Dickson, Hisham M. Abourayana and Denis P. Dowling
Polymers 2020, 12(10), 2188; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12102188 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 96 | Viewed by 10408
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing has been successfully applied for the fabrication of polymer components ranging from prototypes to final products. An issue, however, is that the resulting 3D printed parts exhibit inferior mechanical performance to parts fabricated using conventional polymer processing technologies, such as [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing has been successfully applied for the fabrication of polymer components ranging from prototypes to final products. An issue, however, is that the resulting 3D printed parts exhibit inferior mechanical performance to parts fabricated using conventional polymer processing technologies, such as compression moulding. The addition of fibres and other materials into the polymer matrix to form a composite can yield a significant enhancement in the structural strength of printed polymer parts. This review focuses on the enhanced mechanical performance obtained through the printing of fibre-reinforced polymer composites, using the fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technique. The uses of both short and continuous fibre-reinforced polymer composites are reviewed. Finally, examples of some applications of FFF printed polymer composites using robotic processes are highlighted. Full article
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19 pages, 7186 KiB  
Article
Rheology-Assisted Microstructure Control for Printing Magnetic Composites—Material and Process Development
by Balakrishnan Nagarajan, Martin A.W. Schoen, Simon Trudel, Ahmed Jawad Qureshi and Pierre Mertiny
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2143; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092143 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2956
Abstract
Magnetic composites play a significant role in various electrical and electronic devices. Properties of such magnetic composites depend on the particle microstructural distribution within the polymer matrix. In this study, a methodology to manufacture magnetic composites with isotropic and anisotropic particle distribution was [...] Read more.
Magnetic composites play a significant role in various electrical and electronic devices. Properties of such magnetic composites depend on the particle microstructural distribution within the polymer matrix. In this study, a methodology to manufacture magnetic composites with isotropic and anisotropic particle distribution was introduced using engineered material formulations and manufacturing methods. An in-house developed material jetting 3D printer with particle alignment capability was utilized to dispense a UV curable resin formulation to the desired computer aided design (CAD) geometry. Formulations engineered using additives enabled controlling the rheological properties and the microstructure at different manufacturing process stages. Incorporating rheological additives rendered the formulation with thixotropic properties suitable for material jetting processes. Particle alignment was accomplished using a magnetic field generated using a pair of permanent magnets. Microstructure control in printed composites was observed to depend on both the developed material formulations and the manufacturing process. The rheological behavior of filler-modified polymers was characterized using rheometry, and the formulation properties were derived using mathematical models. Experimental observations were correlated with the observed mechanical behavior changes in the polymers. It was additionally observed that higher additive content controlled particle aggregation but reduced the degree of particle alignment in polymers. Directionality analysis of optical micrographs was utilized as a tool to quantify the degree of filler orientation in printed composites. Characterization of in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic properties using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer exhibited enhanced magnetic characteristics along the direction of field structuring. Results expressed in this fundamental research serve as building blocks to construct magnetic composites through material jetting-based additive manufacturing processes. Full article
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25 pages, 11357 KiB  
Article
Deformation Process of 3D Printed Structures Made from Flexible Material with Different Values of Relative Density
by Paweł Płatek, Kamil Rajkowski, Kamil Cieplak, Marcin Sarzyński, Jerzy Małachowski, Ryszard Woźniak and Jacek Janiszewski
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2120; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092120 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 5393
Abstract
The main aim of this article is the analysis of the deformation process of regular cell structures under quasi-static load conditions. The methodology used in the presented investigations included a manufacturability study, strength tests of the base material as well as experimental and [...] Read more.
The main aim of this article is the analysis of the deformation process of regular cell structures under quasi-static load conditions. The methodology used in the presented investigations included a manufacturability study, strength tests of the base material as well as experimental and numerical compression tests of developed regular cellular structures. A regular honeycomb and four variants with gradually changing topologies of different relative density values have been successfully designed and produced in the TPU-Polyflex flexible thermoplastic polyurethane material using the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printing technique. Based on the results of performed technological studies, the most productive and accurate 3D printing parameters for the thermoplastic polyurethane filament were defined. It has been found that the 3D printed Polyflex material is characterised by a very high flexibility (elongation up to 380%) and a non-linear stress-strain relationship. A detailed analysis of the compression process of the structure specimens revealed that buckling and bending were the main mechanisms responsible for the deformation of developed structures. The Finite Element (FE) method and Ls Dyna software were used to conduct computer simulations reflecting the mechanical response of the structural specimens subjected to a quasi-static compression load. The hyperelastic properties of the TPU material were described with the Simplified Rubber Material (SRM) constitutive model. The proposed FE models, as well as assumed initial boundary conditions, were successfully validated. The results obtained from computer simulations agreed well with the data from the experimental compression tests. A linear relationship was found between the relative density and the maximum strain energy value. Full article
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23 pages, 6143 KiB  
Article
System Performance and Process Capability in Additive Manufacturing: Quality Control for Polymer Jetting
by Razvan Udroiu and Ion Cristian Braga
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1292; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061292 - 4 Jun 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3835
Abstract
Polymer-based additive manufacturing (AM) gathers a great deal of interest with regard to standardization and implementation in mass production. A new methodology for the system and process capabilities analysis in additive manufacturing, using statistical quality tools for production management, is proposed. A large [...] Read more.
Polymer-based additive manufacturing (AM) gathers a great deal of interest with regard to standardization and implementation in mass production. A new methodology for the system and process capabilities analysis in additive manufacturing, using statistical quality tools for production management, is proposed. A large sample of small specimens of circular shape was manufactured of photopolymer resins using polymer jetting (PolyJet) technology. Two critical geometrical features of the specimen were investigated. The variability of the measurement system was determined by Gage repeatability and reproducibility (Gage R&R) methodology. Machine and process capabilities were performed in relation to the defined tolerance limits and the results were analyzed based on the requirements from the statistical process control. The results showed that the EDEN 350 system capability and PolyJet process capability enables obtaining capability indices over 1.67 within the capable tolerance interval of 0.22 mm. Furthermore, PolyJet technology depositing thin layers of resins droplets of 0.016 mm allows for manufacturing in a short time of a high volume of parts for mass production with a tolerance matching the ISO 286 IT9 grade for radial dimension and IT10 grade for linear dimensions on the Z-axis, respectively. Using microscopy analysis some results were explained and validated from the capability study. Full article
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18 pages, 6729 KiB  
Article
3D Direct Printing of Silicone Meniscus Implant Using a Novel Heat-Cured Extrusion-Based Printer
by Eric Luis, Houwen Matthew Pan, Swee Leong Sing, Ram Bajpai, Juha Song and Wai Yee Yeong
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051031 - 1 May 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 5760
Abstract
The first successful direct 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), of heat-cured silicone meniscal implants, using biocompatible and bio-implantable silicone resins is reported. Silicone implants have conventionally been manufactured by indirect silicone casting and molding methods which are expensive and time-consuming. A novel [...] Read more.
The first successful direct 3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), of heat-cured silicone meniscal implants, using biocompatible and bio-implantable silicone resins is reported. Silicone implants have conventionally been manufactured by indirect silicone casting and molding methods which are expensive and time-consuming. A novel custom-made heat-curing extrusion-based silicone 3D printer which is capable of directly 3D printing medical silicone implants is introduced. The rheological study of silicone resins and the optimization of critical process parameters are described in detail. The surface and cross-sectional morphologies of the printed silicone meniscus implant were also included. A time-lapsed simulation study of the heated silicone resin within the nozzle using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was done and the results obtained closely resembled real time 3D printing. Solidworks one-convection model simulation, when compared to the on-off model, more closely correlated with the actual probed temperature. Finally, comparative mechanical study between 3D printed and heat-molded meniscus is conducted. The novel 3D printing process opens up the opportunities for rapid 3D printing of various customizable medical silicone implants and devices for patients and fills the current gap in the additive manufacturing industry. Full article
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12 pages, 2923 KiB  
Article
Mode I Fracture Toughness of Polyamide and Alumide Samples obtained by Selective Laser Sintering Additive Process
by Dan Ioan Stoia, Liviu Marsavina and Emanoil Linul
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030640 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4107
Abstract
Selective Laser Sintering is a flexible additive manufacturing technology that can be used for the fabrication of high-resolution parts. Alongside the shape and dimension of the parts, the mechanical properties are essential for the majority of applications. Therefore, this paper investigates dimensional accuracy [...] Read more.
Selective Laser Sintering is a flexible additive manufacturing technology that can be used for the fabrication of high-resolution parts. Alongside the shape and dimension of the parts, the mechanical properties are essential for the majority of applications. Therefore, this paper investigates dimensional accuracy and mode I fracture toughness (KIC) of Single Edge Notch Bending samples under a Three Point Bending fixture, according to the ASTM D5045-14 standard. The work focuses on the influence of two major aspects of additive manufacturing: material type (Polyamide PA2200 and Alumide) and part orientation in the building environment (orientations of 0°, 45° and 90° are considered). The rest of the controllable parameters remains constant for all samples. The results reveal a direct link between the sample densities and the dimensional accuracy with orientation. The dimensional accuracy of the samples is also material dependent. For both materials, the angular orientation leads to significant anisotropic behavior in terms of KIC. Moreover, the type of material fundamentally influences the KIC values and the fracture mode. The obtained results can be used in the development of additive manufactured parts in order to obtain predictable dimensional tolerances and fracture properties. Full article
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