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LLNL 3D printed foam outperforms standard materials in thermal insulation and shock-absorption – 3ders.org (blog)

by • April 27, 2016 • No Comments

Apr 28, 2016 | By Andre

Generally speaking, when folks talk of the benefits of 3D printing there is chatter of the pros of customization and the ability for small-time making. From there, it is actually not uncommon for folks to move on to the grandiose and the next for distributed making or the following industrial revolution.
Unfortunately, reality frequently sets in and the results can be less than flattering. So while examples of clumsily 3D printed trinkets turn it intod on primitive looking plastic sputtering machines yet captivate the general public, it’s the bargain-priced and mass-turn it intod dollar keep variety item which frequently wins both on economy and high end.
So when I started reading of how advancements in the production of foam via 3D printing was making excellent results – both in thermal insulation and shock-absorption – over standard cellular materials, I was geeked out with excitement.
Lawrence Liveradditional National Laboratory material scientists have not long ago published a piece in the April 27 version of Scientific Reports which demonstrate the feasibility of 3D printing uniform foam structures through a system called direct-ink-write.
This system uses the regulated placement of a face-centred tetragonal lattice structure (as pictured at a lower place on the right) vs. the traditional open-cell stochastic foam structure on the left. Whilst both turn it into much like material properties in feel, mass, floatation and shock absorption, durability tests turn it intod by the laboratory are revealing which the 3D printed examples are proving stronger, age additional slowly and retain their structural composition longer in a wide range of conditions.

Lead author on the study Amitesh Maiti mentions, “now which our work strongly indicates excellent long-term stability and performance of the printed material, there is no reason not to consider replacing traditional foam with appropriately turn it intod 3D-printed foam in specific next applications.”
As an advocate for the next of 3D printing innovation, those words are music to my ears. If proven to be true in the long term (the study tests went over a year in a few cases), why wouldn’t a material significant to industries like car, aerospace, electronic, packaging and additional invest in the innovation as a excellent and regulated alternative?
So why is this 3D printed foam advantageous than what’s may already out there right now? It appears to be of the ability to turn it into uniformity in structure. And while the study primarily involved woodpile structures (a sort of piling together of lateral elements), additional traditional 3D printing structures may be turn it intod via assist material which can be removed once the 3D print system completes.
Of course, while the next of 3D printed foam as a excellent product over the traditional has been demonstrated in the study, the paper is ultimately the initially study of its kind. And actually the authors admit which “there may be advantageous performing AM creations, which include other optimal 3D creations which [they] are yet to explore.”
But at the end of the day, this is another example which begins to prove which foam can be improved via 3D printing technologies. It is not only a case of “hey, which looks a bit like foam” but instead, “eureka! I ponder we are on to a fewthing here.”

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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