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HomeNanotechnologyMould-Free, Fast Processing of Thermosetting Resins

Mould-Free, Fast Processing of Thermosetting Resins

The print medium in direct ink writing (DIW) is within the liquid part (ink) that’s distributed out of the nozzle beneath managed circulation charges to be deposited in a pre-defined path to manufacture three-dimensional (3D) constructions layer-by-layer.

Mold-Free, Quick Processing of Thermosetting Resins​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Examine: Additive manufacturing of nanotube-loaded thermosets by way of direct ink writing and radio-frequency heating and curing. Picture Credit score: MarinaGrigorivna/Shutterstock.com

Whereas the traditional DIW of thermosetting resins relies on viscosity, cross-linking chemistries, and curing in an oven, the brand new strategy revealed within the journal Carbon mentioned the usage of a radio frequency (RF) applicator for spontaneous heating of composite resins in additive manufacturing.

The co-planar RF applicator generated an electrical area that was used to rapidly warmth and remedy composite resins throughout additive manufacturing, avoiding an extra step for curing the samples. The print-and-cure repetitive cycle within the current strategy allowed the printing of multilayered constructions with excessive decision.

The RF applicator partially cured the extruded layer earlier than the deposition of the following layer, sustaining the structural integrity of the printed half. In comparison with the traditional manufacturing course of, the present technique decreased the contact time and elevated throughput. Thus, the current work demonstrated that RF heating is a handy various to conventional oven-based curing strategies.

Additive Manufacturing in 3D Printing

Heating and curing the thermosetting polymers type cross-linked networks that characteristic excessive mechanical energy, thermal stability, and resistance to chemical degradation. These properties make thermosets fascinating for numerous purposes in batteries, aerospace, and automotive constructions.

Typical thermosetting polymer manufacturing strategies use molds for curing the resin matrices in a high-temperature oven. Nevertheless, these strategies are gradual, devour excessive power and labor, and require part-specific molds which might be tough to realize.

The above limitations of typical manufacturing strategies are overcome by additive manufacturing, permitting sooner and extra environment friendly manufacturing of constructions with custom-made geometries. 3D printing is an additive manufacturing approach for fabricating a variety of constructions and sophisticated geometries from 3D mannequin knowledge. The method consists of printing successive layers of supplies, shaped on high of one another.

Additive manufacturing of cross-linkable resins utilizing DIW printing was beforehand restricted to photocurable supplies. Though this 3D printing may very well be utilized to print dual-cure resins, these required incorporating photocurable supplies into thermosets to fabricate gentle and chemically activated resin.

Nevertheless, the dual-cure technique alters the resin chemistry and makes the fabric ultraviolet (UV) curable, limiting the usage of photocurable resins. Alternatively, thermoset’s additive manufacturing primarily based on frontal polymerization (FROMP) entails propagating response wave that permits the preliminary monomer’s fast cross-linking. Nevertheless, this technique restricts the variety of printable resin chemistries.

Additive Manufacturing by way of DIW and RF Heating and Curing

RF heating has higher power effectivity and low infrastructure requirement, offering sooner heating charges than typical heating strategies. Thus, changing conventional ovens with non-contact RF applicators can allow out-of-oven curing in additive manufacturing.

Whereas earlier research highlighted the fabrication of multilayered constructions utilizing RF heating for curing carbon nanotube (CNT)-filled thermosetting epoxies. The current examine demonstrated a brand new course of that concerned layer-by-layer, print, and remedy cycles for multilayered additive manufacturing.

The strategies reported up to now had restricted decision of the printed multilayered construction as a result of warmth diffusion within the resin reservoir, resulting in tough edges and surfaces. Nevertheless, the current technique resulted within the high-resolution of the fabricated multilayered constructions with easy surfaces and void-free morphology, demonstrating some great benefits of RF heating in additive manufacturing.

Within the current examine, every printed layer utilizing a DIW printer was partially cured utilizing RF heating earlier than the deposition of the following layer. The print-cure cycle helped keep the integrity of the printed construction, supporting itself with out collapsing the following printed layers.

Though earlier research talked about the usage of RF heating for curing CNT-filled thermosetting epoxies, the current work highlighted the modifications in rheological properties of the resin on the addition of CNTs, permitting DIW of resin with out the halfway collapsing of the print. Furthermore, the addition of CNTs improved {the electrical} conductivity of the resins.


To summarize, a novel technique was demonstrated for additive manufacturing of thermoset nanocomposites by way of DIW. The repetitive cycle of print-and-cure allowed the development of multilayered thermoset components, avoiding the usage of novel chemistries or viscosity modifying brokers in additive manufacturing.

The RF response and rheological properties of the resin have been analyzed with totally different carbon nanotube loadings, evaluating the acceptable carbon nanotube loading earlier than printing advanced shapes with excessive decision. Thermochemical characterization of printed resins confirmed that the pattern cured by way of RF heating had larger storage moduli values than oven-cured samples.

Moreover, RF-cured samples confirmed higher energy in tensile testing than their oven-cured counterparts because of void-free and easy morphology obtained by way of the RF curing course of, as noticed in scanning electron microscope (SEM) pictures.

The current work demonstrated DIW printing and localized RF heating as a handy strategy for additive manufacturing thermoset nanocomposites. Simulation outcomes confirmed the prospects of additive manufacturing methodology in free-form printing of advanced shapes.


Sarmah, A et al. (2022). Additive manufacturing of nanotube-loaded thermosets by way of direct ink writing and radio-frequency heating and curing. Carbon.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0008622322006868

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