Researchers in Oregon State University’s College of Engineering have taken a key step toward the rapid manufacture of flexible computer screens and other stretchable electronic devices, including soft robots.
The advance by a team within the college’s Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute paves the way toward the 3D printing of tall, complicated structures with a highly conductive gallium alloy.
Researchers put nickel nanoparticles into the liquid metal, galinstan, to thicken it into a paste with a consistency suitable for additive manufacturing.
“The runny alloy was impossible to layer into tall structures,” said Yi?it Mengüç, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and co-corresponding author on the study. “With the paste-like texture, it can be layered while maintaining its capacity to flow, and to stretch inside of rubber tubes. We demonstrated the potential of our discovery by 3D printing a very stretchy two-layered circuit whose layers weave in and out of each other without touching.”
Findings were recently published in Advanced Materials Technologies.
Gallium alloys are already being used as the conductive material in flexible electronics; the alloys have low toxicity and good conductivity, plus they’re inexpensive and “self-healing” – able to attach back together at break points.
But prior to the modification developed at OSU, which used sonication – the energy of sound – to mix the nickel particles and the oxidized gallium into the liquid metal, the alloys’ printability was restricted to 2-dimensional.
For this study, researchers printed structures up to 10 millimeters high and 20 millimeters wide.
“Liquid metal printing is integral to the flexible electronics field,” said co-author Do?an Yirmibe?o?lu, a robotics Ph.D. student at OSU. “Additive manufacturing enables fast fabrication of intricate designs and circuitry.”
The field features a range of products including electrically conductive textiles; bendable displays; sensors for torque, pressure and other types of strain; wearable sensor suits, such as those used in the development of video games; antennae; and biomedical sensors.
“The future is very bright,” Yirmibe?o?lu said. “It’s easy to imagine making soft robots that are ready for operation, that will just walk out of the printer.”
The gallium alloy paste demonstrates several features new to the field of flexible electronics, added co-corresponding author Uranbileg Daalkhaijav, Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering.
“It can be made easily and quickly,” Daalkhaijav said. “The structural change is permanent, the electrical properties of the paste are comparable to pure liquid metal, and the paste retains self-healing characteristics.”
Future work will explore the exact structure of the paste, how the nickel particles are stabilized, and how the structure changes as the paste ages.
The Latest on: Liquid metal printing
via Google News
The Latest on: Liquid metal printing
- New way to cool computer chips involves laser metal printing on November 14, 2018 at 5:47 am
Traditionally, electronics are cooled using a heat sink that transfers the heat generated by the electronic system into the air or a liquid ... metal directly onto silicon. This solution removes both ... […]
- Make and start your engines with Mechanical Engineering Technology program on November 14, 2018 at 5:45 am
View print quality image Excess molten metal gets poured in a ... which is then carefully poured into a mold. The liquid metal goes into a small hole of the mold. When it comes out of the second hole, ... […]
- voxeljet Launches New Product Line: VX1000-S for Serial Additive Manufacturing for Light Metal Casting Applications on November 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm
So far, the company focused on organic printing processes in its sand printing ... A water jacket is a liquid-filled casing surrounding a device, typically out of metal, having intake and outlet vents ... […]
- 3D Printing Materials market worth 1,409.5 million USD by 2021 according to market forecasts on November 6, 2018 at 11:52 am
The report "3D Printing Materials Market by Type (Plastics, Metals, Ceramics, and Others), by Form (Filament, Powder and Liquid), by Application ... human organs can also be printed. Metal materials a... […]
- Formnext 2018: What's new in 3D printing hardware? on November 6, 2018 at 3:04 am
Italian machine manufacturer, SISMA is introducing its latest product in professional resin-based 3D printing under the brand EVERES. Known for its Laser Metal Fusion and laser ... component's layered ... […]
- Hebrew U team develops shape-shifting 3D printed pills for better targeted drugs on November 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm
In a 3D printing process, a computer-controlled design shapes a material — like metal powder or a liquid dispersion of metal particles — to create a three-dimensional object. These objects are general... […]
- 3D printing: A cheat sheet on November 2, 2018 at 5:54 am
Photopolymer printers, which use a liquid resin cured by ultraviolet light ... TechRepublic's cheat sheets and smart person's guides Powder bed printing allows for the printing of metal alloys, polyme... […]
- Electronic tattoos for wearable computing on October 31, 2018 at 6:22 pm
The low-cost process adds trace amounts of an electrically-conductive, liquid metal alloy to tattoo paper that adheres ... teamed up to develop methods for direct printing of stretchable electronic ci... […]
- Global $832 Million Biocompatible 3D Printing Materials Market to 2023: 3D Systems (US) is One of the Major Players in the Market on September 13, 2018 at 9:20 am
The "Biocompatible 3D Printing Materials Market by Type (Polymer, Metal), Application (Implants & Prosthesis, Prototyping & Surgical Guides, Tissue Engineering, Hearing Aid), Form (Powder, Liquid), an... […]
via Bing News