Spin-Printing of Liquid Crystal Polymer into Recyclable and Strong All-Fiber Materials

Silvan Gantenbein, Chiara Mascolo, Caroline Houriet, Robert Zboray, Antonia Neels, Kunal Masania, André R. Studart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Fiber-reinforced polymers are widely used as lightweight materials in aircraft, automobiles, wind turbine blades, and sports products. Despite the beneficial weight reduction achieved in such applications, these composites often suffer from poor recyclability and limited geometries. 3D printing of liquid crystal polymers into complex-shaped all-fiber materials is a promising approach to tackle these issues and thus increase the sustainability of current lightweight structures. Here, we report a spin-printing technology for the manufacturing of recyclable and strong all-fiber lightweight materials. All-fiber architectures are created by combining thick print lines and thin spun fibers as reinforcing elements in bespoke orientations. Through controlled extrusion experiments and theoretical analyses, we systematically study the spinning process and establish criteria for the generation of thin fibers and laminates with unprecedented mechanical properties. The potential of the technology is further illustrated by creating complex structures with unique all-fiber architectures and mechanical performance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • fused filament fabrication
  • polymer technology
  • structural materials

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