3D-Printed Inherently Porous Structures with Tetrahedral Lattice Architecture: Experimental and Computational Study of Their Mechanical Behavior

MA Kuzina and CM Kurpiers and YY Tsai and R Schwaiger and SW Chang and P Levkin, MACROMOLECULAR MATERIALS AND ENGINEERING, 308 (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/mame.202300041

Increasing demand in automotive, construction, and medical industries for materials with reduced weight and high mechanical durability has given rise to porous materials and composites. Materials combining nano- and microporosity and a well-defined cellular macroporous architecture offer great potential weight reduction while maintaining mechanical durability. To achieve predictable mechanical performance, it is essential to apply experimental and computational efforts to precisely describe material structure-properties relationships. This study explores polymer structures with polymerization-inherited porosity and well-defined macroporous geometry, fabricated via digital light processing (DLP) 3Dprinting. Pore size and relative density are varied by ink composition and printing parameters to track their influence on the structure stiffness. Simulated stiffness values for the base polymer correspond to the experimentally determined elastic properties, showing Young's moduli of 554-722 MPa depending on the cosolvent ratio, which confirms the structure-properties relationship. Macroporosity is introduced in the form of a 3D tetrahedral bending-dominated architecture with the resulting specific Young's moduli of 79.5 MPa cm(3) g(-1), comparable to foams. To merge the gap in stiffnesses, further investigation of structure-property relationships of various 3D-printed lattice architectures, as well as its application to other stereolithography methods to eliminate the negative effects from printing artifacts and resolution limit of the DLP 3D-printing, are envisioned.

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