Recently, a team of Canadian researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal designed a fabric using 3D printing that has the ability to absorb 96% of impact without breaking.
Researcher found the inspiration from the natural properties of spiderweb for creating durable 3D printed coverings for phones and other devices. They used heating polycarbonate (PC) for adhesive because it carries low viscosity.
Researchers also claim that in future, 3D printed material could be in use for creating bulletproof glass, which will be applied in aeronautics for aircraft engines.
Manufacturing 3D Printed Shatterproof Material
To create shatterproof material, researchers heated PC when the polymer is heated it turns into sticky adhesive similar to honey, which is later used to replicate properties found in the spiderwebs. However, researchers wanted to recreate similar properties for impact-absorbing capabilities.
To get this result, researchers used instability-assisted fused filament fabrication (IFFF) 3D printer for creating transparent and impact-absorbing 3D printed material.
Strength of the Shatterproof Material
When the process was completed, the report investigated how the material’s fibres behaved. They conducted an impact tests to see if embedding the 3D printed material into a glass pane would bring down the shattering experience. Instead of shattering, the material deformed in certain places.
The team wanted to see if the faux spiderweb could catch a free-falling baseball, so they put into the testing. They dropped 550g baseball from 66cm height. The process highlighted the impact of the baseball after the fall, which made the contact with the material.
Under the impact, the kinetic energy of the baseball dissipated by the sacrificial bonds breaking.
The use of PC Filaments
Many companies now use PC filaments for the wide range of 3D printing projects. One such is the Polymaker, a 3D printing material providing company, which qualified for three PC materials in its Stratasys subsidiary MakerBot LABS. This new addition bring down the pressure of warping and curling will give METHOD X users a strong mechanical and thermal properties.
Polymaker previously collaborated with German high-performance polymer manufacturer Covestro for launching three new PC based material for the 3D printing.
Covestro also used Formnext Connect’s virtual stage for introducing a sustainable line of 3 printing materials. These new filaments address the circular economy concept and are partially built of recycled plastics. These are eco-friendly polymers amplifying the potential environmental benefits of 3D printing.