Organic Chemistry

3D Printing of Aramid Nanofiber Composites by Stereolithography



Vat photopolymerization is a versatile 3D printing method that produces parts using polymeric materials with uniform mechanical properties, high quality surface finish and high-resolution features. However, it is challenging to make composite materials with vat photopolymerization mainly due to the imperfect filler dispersion in the photo resin. Herein, we describe a methodology to incorporate aramid nanofibers (ANFs) into a 3D printable photoresin as a dispersion, followed by a solvent exchange process that limits anisotropic shrinkage and cracking of the printed polymer. By incorporating 0.60 wt.% of ANFs, both the tensile strength and toughness increased by 264 % and 219 % respectively, while the Young’s modulus had a 406 % increase compared to the control photoresin.


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