3D Printing of a Self-Healing Thermoplastic Polyurethane through FDM: From Polymer Slab to Mechanical Assessment

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103 Downloads (Pure)


The use of self-healing (SH) polymers to make 3D-printed polymeric parts offers the po-tential to increase the quality of 3D-printed parts and to increase their durability and damage toler-ance due to their (on-demand) dynamic nature. Nevertheless, 3D-printing of such dynamic poly-mers is not a straightforward process due to their polymer architecture and rheological complexity and the limited quantities produced at lab-scale. This limits the exploration of the full potential of self-healing polymers. In this paper, we present the complete process for fused deposition model-lingof a room temperature self-healing polyurethane. Starting from the synthesis and polymer slab manufacturing, we processed the polymer into a continuous filament and 3D printed parts. For the characterization ofthe 3D printed parts,we used a compression cut test, which proved useful when limited amount of material is available. The test was able to quasi-quantitatively assess both bulk and 3D printed samples and their self-healing behavior. The mechanical and healing behavior of the3D printed self-healing polyurethane was highly similar to that of the bulk SH polymer. This indicates that the self-healing property of the polymer was retained even after multiple processing steps and printing. Compared to a commercial 3D-printing thermoplastic polyurethane, the self-healing polymer displayed a smaller mechanical dependency on the printing conditions with the added value of healing cuts at room temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number305
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • self-healing
  • 3D printing
  • cut test
  • polyurethane


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