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  1. Print conditions for thermoplastics by filament-based material extrusion (MatEx) are commonly optimized to maximize the elastic modulus. However, these optimizations tend to ignore the impact of thermal history that depends on the specimen size and print path selection. Here, we investigate the effect of size print path (raster angle and build orientation) and print sequence on the mechanical properties of polycarbonate (PC) and polypropylene (PP). Examination of parallel and series printing of flat (XY) and stand-on (YZ) orientation of Type V specimens demonstrated that to observe statistical differences in the mechanical response that the interlayer time between printed roads shouldmore »be approximately 5 s or less. The print time for a single layer in XY orientation is much longer than that for a single layer in YZ orientation, so print sequence only impacts the mechanical response in the YZ orientation. However, the specimen size and raster angle did influence the mechanical properties in XY orientation due to the differences in thermal history associated with intralayer time between adjacent roads. Moreover, all of these effects are significantly larger when printing PC than PP. These differences between PP and PC are mostly attributed to the mechanism of interface consolidation (crystallization vs. glass formation), which changes the requirements for a strong interface between roads (crystals vs. entanglements). These results illustrate how the print times dictated by the print path layout impact observed mechanical properties. This work also demonstrated that the options available in some standards developed for traditional manufacturing will change the quantitative results when applied to 3D printed parts.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 24, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  3. Thermoplastic elastomers based on ABA triblock copolymers are typically limited in modulus and strength due to crack propagation within the brittle regions when the hard end-block composition favors morphologies that exhibit connected domains. Increasing the threshold end-block composition to achieve enhanced mechanical performance is possible by increasing the number of junctions or bridging points per chain, but these copolymer characteristics also tend to increase the complexity of the synthesis. Here, we report an in situ polymerization method to successfully increase the number of effective junctions per chain through grafting of poly(styrene) (PS) to a commercial thermoplastic elastomer, poly(styrene)–poly(butadiene)–poly(styrene) (SBS). Themore »strategy described here transforms a linear SBS triblock copolymer–styrene mixture into a linear-comb-linear architecture in which poly(styrene) (PS) grafts from the mid-poly(butadiene) (PBD) block during the polymerization of styrene. Through systematic variation in the initial SBS/styrene content, nanostructural transitions from disordered spheres to lamellar through reaction-induced phase transitions (RIPT) were identified as the styrene content increased. Surprisingly, maximum mechanical performance (Young's modulus, tensile strength, and elongation at break) was obtained with samples exhibiting lamellar nanostructures, corresponding to overall PS contents of 61–77 wt% PS (including the original PS in SBS). The PS grafting from the PBD block increases the modulus and the strength of the thermoplastic elastomer while preventing brittle fracture due to the greater number of junctions afforded by the PS grafts. The work presented here demonstrates the use of RIPT to transform standard SBS materials into polymer systems with enhanced mechanical properties.« less
  4. Acoustic/elastic metamaterials that rely on engineered microstructures instead of chemical composition enable a rich variety of extraordinary effective properties that are suited for various applications including vibration/noise isolation, high-resolution medical imaging, and energy harvesting and mitigation. However, the static nature of these elastic wave guides limits their potential for active elastic-wave guiding, as microstructure transformation remains a challenge to effectively apply in traditional elastic metamaterials due to the interplay of polarization and structural sensitivity. Here, a tunable, locally resonant structural waveguide is proposed and demonstrated for active vibration bandgap switching and elastic-wave manipulation between 1000–4000 Hz based on 3D printedmore »building blocks of zinc-neutralized poly(ethylene- co -methacrylic acid) ionomer (Surlyn 9910). The ionomer exhibits shape memory behavior to enable rearrangement into new shape patterns through application of thermal stimuli that tunes mechanical performance in both space and time dimensions (4D metamaterial). The thermally induced shape-reorganization is programed to flip a series of frequency bands from passbands to bandgaps and vice versa . The continuously switched bandwidth can exceed 500 Hz. Consequently, altering the bandgap from “on” to “off” produces programmable elastic-wave propagation paths to achieve active wave guiding phenomena. An anisotropic cantilever-in-mass model is demonstrated to predict the self-adaptive dynamic responses of the printed structures with good agreement between the analytical work and experimental results. The tunable metamaterial-based waveguides illustrate the potential of 4D printed shape memory polymers in the designing and manufacturing of intelligent devices for elastic-wave control and vibration isolation.« less