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Scientists create “active” 3D printer plastic

by • April 3, 2016 • No Comments

3D printing equipment are capable of making items which can perform all sorts of functions … when power is applied to those items, which is. In the case of commercial-grade printing equipment, yet, the create material itself is typically an inert thermoplastic or resin. Researchers at Washington DC’s American University have set out to alter which, by printing a sponge-like matrix which eliminates pollutants. It’s reportedly the initially time which a commercial 3D printing device has made an object which has active chemistry.

Led by chemist Prof. Matthew Hartings, the scientists initially introduced nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) to a conventional liquified ABS thermoplastic. Among other things, TiO2 is known for its skill to break down pollutants when reacting with effortless light – which’s why it is been used in experimental self-cleaning clothes.

The TiO2/ABS mixture was subsequently extruded and hardened to form a filament, only like the spools of filaments used by hobbyists and other users of 3D printing equipment. Loaded into a regular printing device, which filament was used to print the matrix.

Once deplete, which structure was and so placed in a sample of water containing an organic pollutant. Reacting with the ambient light, it neutralized which pollutant automatically.

Hartings and his team are now exploring additional difficult shapes for the matrix, and other active chemical additives which may be used for other applications. There is one limiting factor, yet – so far, the concentration of nanoparticles has to be less than 10 percent of the structure’s total weight.

A paper on the research was not long ago published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

Source: American University


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