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Title: Mechanical Consequences of Oxygen Inhibition in Vat Polymerization

Vat polymerization is a type of additive manufacturing that is used extensively to produce micro‐architected structures for mechanical applications, which brings the mechanical properties of photopolymerized resins into sharp focus. However, it is known that photopolymerization is sensitive to a number of factors, perhaps the most notorious of which is oxygen inhibition. Herein, the degree to which oxygen inhibition influences the macroscopic and microscopic properties of structures made using vat polymerization is explored. This work is motivated by an observation of lattices being >4 times softer in the experiment than predicted by simulation, which is hypothesized to be due to the material at the surface being incompletely cured. This hypothesis is supported by four‐point bending tests in which flexural modulus is found to increase with beam thickness. Nanoindentation and bulk compression studies show that this surface softening is present for three distinct resins. Importantly, it is observed that structures post‐print cured in nitrogen are stiffer than those post‐print cured in air, however, regardless of the post‐print curing environment, printing samples in the presence of oxygen makes them softer than samples photocured in nitrogen. Collectively, these results show the outsized influence of oxygen inhibition on micro‐architected structures realized using vat polymerization.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials Technologies
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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