USC Viterbi faculty and students develop a 3D-printed material that can repair itself all on its own.
Instead of throwing away your broken boots or cracked toys, why not let them fix themselves? Researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have developed 3D-printed rubber materials that can do just that.
Assistant Professor Qiming Wang works in the world of 3D printed materials, creating new functions for a variety of purposes, from flexible electronics to sound control. Now, working with Viterbi students Kunhao Yu, An Xin, and Haixu Du, and University of Connecticut Assistant Professor Ying Li, they have made a new material that can be manufactured quickly and is able to repair itself if it becomes fractured or punctured. This material could be game-changing for industries like shoes, tires, soft robotics, and even electronics, decreasing manufacturing time while increasing product durability and longevity.
The material is manufactured using a 3D printing method that uses photopolymerization. This process uses light to solidify a liquid resin in a desired shape or geometry. To make it self-healable, they had to dive a little deeper into the chemistry behind the material.
Photopolymerization is achieved through a reaction with a certain chemical group called thiols. By adding an oxidizer to the equation, thiols transform into another group called disulfides. It is the disulfide group that is able to reform when broken, leading to the self-healing ability. Finding the right ratio between these two groups was the key to unlocking the materials’ unique properties.
“When we gradually increase the oxidant, the self-healing behavior becomes stronger, but the photopolymerization behavior becomes weaker,” explained Wang. “There is competition between these two behaviors. And eventually we found the ratio that can enable both high self-healing and relatively rapid photopolymerization.”
In just 5 seconds, they can print a 17.5-millimeter square, completing whole objects in around 20 minutes that can repair themselves in just a few hours. In their study, published in NPG Asia Materials, they demonstrate their material’s ability on a range of products, including a shoe pad, a soft robot, a multiphase composite, and an electronic sensor.
After being cut in half, in just two hours at 60 degrees Celsius (four for the electronics due to the carbon used to transmit electricity) they healed completely, retaining their strength and function. The repair time can be decreased just by raising the temperature.
“We actually show that under different temperatures – from 40 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius – the material can heal to almost 100 percent,” said Yu, who was first-author of the study and is studying structural engineering. “By changing the temperature, we can manipulate the healing speed, even under room temperature the material can still self-heal”
After conquering 3D-printable soft materials, they are now working to develop different self-healable materials along a range of stiffnesses, from the current soft rubber, to rigid hard-plastics. These could be used for vehicle parts, composite materials, and even body armor.
Learn more: Broke your shoe? What if it could repair itself?
The Latest on: 3D printed self-healing materials
via Google News
The Latest on: 3D printed self-healing materials
- Self-healing 3D-printed gel has a future in robots and medicine on March 22, 2019 at 7:43 pm
Robots might be a little more appealing -- and more practical-- if they're not made of hard, cold metal or plastic, but of a softer material. Researcher at Brown ... life-saving drugs in the field. ... […]
- Self-healing 3D-printed gel has a future in robots and medicine on March 22, 2019 at 6:13 pm
But because this new material is 3D-printed, it can be made in stackable LEGO-like blocks, and "complex microfluidic architectures" can be incorporated into each block. These could create a type of ... […]
- USC Researchers Develop 3D Printed Self-Healing Silicone Rubber on March 8, 2019 at 12:52 pm
Self-healing manmade materials – primarily in the form of polymers or elastomers – aren’t new, either. But the ability to 3D print self-healing polymers is rather revolutionary. Researchers at the ... […]
- 3D Printed Self-Healing Material Can Fix Sole of Shoe In Two Hours on February 24, 2019 at 11:43 pm
The potential uses for unique self-healing materials are numerous, varying from fixing cell phone screens and other electronics to repairing cartilage and other biomedical applications. Now, a team of ... […]
- Self-Healing Shoes and Self-Repairing Electronics Could be Made from New Material on February 20, 2019 at 6:07 am
Researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have developed just that with 3D-printed rubber material ... group is what causes the material to reform when broken, ... […]
- Self-repairing shoes may be a reality thanks to 3D-printed rubber on February 6, 2019 at 9:43 am
A USC team has created a self-healing 3D-printed rubber that could be ideal for footwear, tires and even soft robotics. The effort involves 3D printing the material with photopolymerization ... […]
- 3D-printed objects repair themselves after being cut in half on February 6, 2019 at 9:25 am
3D-printed shoe soles were cut in half and self ... The team is now looking into the development of a range of materials that can self-heal, which could go on to produce self-healing automotive ... […]
- Self-healing printed material 'could be game-changing for soft robotics' on February 6, 2019 at 6:35 am
A 3D printing technique that creates self-healing materials could be “game-changing” for soft robotics and lead to repairable vehicle parts, researchers have claimed. “Instead of throwing away your ... […]
- 3D-printed rubber materials self-heal when fractured or punctured on February 6, 2019 at 4:00 am
A team in the US has developed 3D-printed rubber materials ... leading to the self-healing ability. Finding the right ratio between these two groups was the key to unlocking the materials’ properties. ... […]
- 3D-printed rubber for self-repairing tires, shoes on February 6, 2019 at 3:37 am
LOS ANGELES: Scientists have 3D-printed rubber material that can repair itself if it becomes fractured or punctured, paving the way for self healing car tires or shoes. The material, developed by ... […]
via Bing News