Printability of elastomer latex for additive manufacturing or 3D printing
journal contributionposted on 10.05.2016, 14:40 by Maria Lukic, Jane Clarke, Christopher Tuck, William WhittowWilliam Whittow, Garry Wells
Additive manufacturing, sometimes referred to as 3D printing is a new, rapidly developing technology which has the potential to revolutionize fabrication of certain high value, complex products. Until now conventional elastomers have not been widely used in the additive manufacturing process. The goal of our work was to determine the feasibility of additive manufacturing using ink jet printing of elastomeric latex materials. Particle size, viscosity, and surface tension were measured for five different latex materials—poly(2-chloro-1,3-butadiene), carboxylated styrene-butadiene rubber, carboxylated butadiene-acrylonitrile copolymer, natural rubber, and prevulcanized natural rubber. The XSBR latex was predicted as the one most likely to be printable. Printing trials carried out with the XSBR as the ink proved it to be printable, although technical problems of agglomeration and print head clogging need to be addressed and both the material and process need to be optimized for consistent printing to be achieved.
The authors would like to thank DSTL for funding this project (National PhD Programme)© Crown copyright 2015. Published with the permission of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory on behalf of the Controller of HMSO.
- Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering