Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to offer many benefits over traditional formative and subtractive manufacturing methods in the fabrication of complex parts with advantages such as low weight, complex geometry, and internal circuitry. In practice, today’s methods for AM production are limited by their slow speed and poor anisotropic properties of thermoplastic materials. To address both issues, we have developed a reactive mixture deposition approach that can enable 3D printing at over 100X the rate and greater than 10X reduction in write-head mass of traditional thermoplastic deposition methods, with material chemistries that can be tuned for specific properties.
Additionally, the reaction kinetics and transient rheological properties are specifically designed for the deposition rates, enabling the synchronized development of increasing shear modulus and extensive cross linking across the z-layers. This ambient cure eliminates the internal stresses and bulk distortions that typically hamper manufacturing of large parts using AM, and yields a printed part with inter-layer covalent bonds that significantly improve the strength of the part along the axis of printing. The fast cure kinetics combined with the fine turned viscoelastic properties of the mixture enable rapid vertical builds that are not possible using other approaches. Through rheological characterization of mixtures that were capable of printing in this process as well as materials that did have sufficient structural integrity for layer-on-layer printing, a “printability” rheological phase diagram was defined, and is presented here.
One future implementation of this system is in a deployable manufacturing system, where manufacturing is done on-site using the efficiently-shipped polymer, locally-sourced fillers, and a small, deployable print system. Unlike existing additive manufacturing approaches which require larger and slower print systems and complex thermal management strategies as scale increases, liquid reactive polymers decouple performance and print speed from the scale of the part, enabling a new class of cost-effective, fuel-efficient additive manufacturing.
Researcher at PPG for 30 years and have held various positions within R&D. Some have included advanced research in the development of Gas Barrier Coats, Nanoparticle Dispersions and particle encapsulations during that time received an R&D 100 award for Oxygen Barrier Coating. Team leader in development and commercialization of new products for Automotive Parts and Accessories and a Team leader for the development and commercialization of next generation products for Transition lenses that has then led me to a position as a team leader and now group leader of Rapid Prototyping that determine the feasibility of new product and processes. I have 17 granted US patents and 39 patent applications in 6 different patent families. Education and Training B.S. Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh, 2001 Awards and Honors 1998 – R&D 100 Award for Bairocade Oxygen Barrier
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