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Title: Material Design for Enhancing Properties of 3D Printed Polymer Composites for Target Applications
Polymer composites are becoming an important class of materials for a diversified range of industrial applications due to their unique characteristics and natural and synthetic reinforcements. Traditional methods of polymer composite fabrication require machining, manual labor, and increased costs. Therefore, 3D printing technologies have come to the forefront of scientific, industrial, and public attention for customized manufacturing of composite parts having a high degree of control over design, processing parameters, and time. However, poor interfacial adhesion between 3D printed layers can lead to material failure, and therefore, researchers are trying to improve material functionality and extend material lifetime with the addition of reinforcements and self-healing capability. This review provides insights on different materials used for 3D printing of polymer composites to enhance mechanical properties and improve service life of polymer materials. Moreover, 3D printing of flexible energy-storage devices (FESD), including batteries, supercapacitors, and soft robotics using soft materials (polymers), is discussed as well as the application of 3D printing as a platform for bioengineering and earth science applications by using a variety of polymer materials, all of which have great potential for improving future conditions for humanity and planet Earth.  more » « less
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National Science Foundation
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