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
- Biological material could be 3D printed to create self-healing shoeson August 17, 2019 at 7:00 am
Shoes as we know them are a pretty modern invention, and a lot of research has gone into creating more comfortable, high-performance materials to cover one’s feet. Even the most advanced rubber-soled ...
- Smart Materials: 3D Printing Self-Healing Capsules for Concreteon July 10, 2019 at 4:11 am
In ‘3D printed capsules for self-healing concrete applications,’ researchers are exploring the world of self-healing materials further, with the creation of macro-capsules that can actually be filled ...
- Self-healing material has resin in its "veins"on May 31, 2019 at 2:13 pm
With that in mind, many groups have been developing self-healing materials – and one of the latest ... when exposed to ultraviolet light. Utilizing a form of 3D printing known as laser-assisted ...
- Self-healing 3D-printed gel has a future in robots and medicineon March 22, 2019 at 7:43 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 Rubberon 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 Hourson 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 Materialon 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, ...
- 3D-printed objects repair themselves after being cut in halfon February 6, 2019 at 9:25 am
Researchers have developed 3D-printed materials that can repair themselves after becoming ... so that original strength and function was maintained after self-healing. "When we gradually increase the ...
- 3D-printed rubber for self-repairing tires, shoeson 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 ...
- 3D Print Self-Healing Rubber Into Objects that Fix Themselveson February 5, 2019 at 2:06 pm
A newly developed 3D-printed rubber material can ... leading to the self-healing ability. Finding the right ratio between these two groups was the key to unlocking the materials' unique properties.
via Bing News