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Scientists 3D print chemically active structures that could help fight pollution – 3ders.org (blog)

by • April 3, 2016 • No Comments

Apr 4, 2016 | By Tess
A team of researchers of the American University in Washington D.C. have which successfully managed to 3D print chemically active structures via a commercial 3D printing device, a development which may have a big impact on mitigating pollution.
The study, which details the research system of the 3D printed chemically active structures, was published earlier nowadays in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials and is called “The chemical, mechanical, and physical properties of 3D printed materials turn it intod of TiO2-ABS nanocomposites”.
The project, led by chemistry professor Matthew Hartings, effectively shows how a commercial 3D printing device can be utilized to turn it into a 3D printed structure with an active chemistry which may assist break down pollutant particles. To explain additional, the American University researchers turn it intod a create for a tiny structure, of the dimensions of a handheld sponge, which they additively manufactured via a 3D thermoplastic printing device. For the print itself, the researchers utilized a standard ABS plastic filament, but introduced nanoparticles of a chemically active titanium dioxide (TiO2) throughout it, which were effectively printed into the sponge-like matrix structure.

TiO2, in addition known as titania, is an effortlessly occurring oxide of titanium which is utilized in a wide range of applications, which include sunscreen and cosmetics, food colorings, and paints. What is particularly notable of the chemical formula is its ability to break down pollutant particles when it interacts with effortless light, meaning it may potentially be utilized in controlling and mitigating pollution in the air, water, and in agriculture.
Considering this, Hartings and his team of scientists set out to determine whether nanoparticles of TiO2 may yet be active if they were 3D printed with plastic filament into a structure, and whether their pollutant combating properties may yet be viable after this system. To test this, the team of researchers placed the 3D printed structure into water and subsequently introduced an organic molecule, or pollutant, to the water. After testing the water, the researchers discovered which the pollutant was effectively destroyed by the matrix structure, meaning which the TiO2 nanoparticles did stay active.
Hartings explains of the potentials of 3D printing chemically active structures, “It’s not just pollution, but there are all sorts of other chemical systemes which folks may be interested in. There are a variety of nanoparticles one may add to a polymer to print.”

Whilst the research marks an astounding initially in the 3D printing world and demonstrates the potentials of 3D printing chemically active materials, there are of course yet a number of limitations to the bourgeoning field. For instance, as the study points out, the concentration of nanoparticles of the active ingredient requires to stay at a lower place 10% of the total weight structure of the object to be 3D printed. To be many chemically effective, yet, the structure may require a higher concentration than 10%.
So far, the team of researchers of the American University in Washington D.C. have just worked with easy 3D printed structures and shapes, yet they can soon use additive making to turn it into additional rigorous geometries and shapes to see what effect the printed structure can have on the material’s chemical reactivity. They are hoping to ultimately find an optimal geometric structure to use in breaking down harmful environmental pollutants.

Posted in 3D Printing Technology

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