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Title: 3D printed cellular solid outperforms traditional stochastic foam in long-term mechanical response

3D printing of polymeric foams by direct-ink-write is a recent technological breakthrough that enables the creation of versatile compressible solids with programmable microstructure, customizable shapes, and tunable mechanical response including negative elastic modulus. However, in many applications the success of these 3D printed materials as a viable replacement for traditional stochastic foams critically depends on their mechanical performance and micro-architectural stability while deployed under long-term mechanical strain. To predict the long-term performance of the two types of foams we employed multi-year-long accelerated aging studies under compressive strain followed by a time-temperature-superposition analysis using a minimum-arc-length-based algorithm. The resulting master curves predict superior long-term performance of the 3D printed foam in terms of two different metrics, i.e., compression set and load retention. To gain deeper understanding, we imaged the microstructure of both foams using X-ray computed tomography, and performed finite-element analysis of the mechanical response within these microstructures. As a result, this indicates a wider stress variation in the stochastic foam with points of more extreme local stress as compared to the 3D printed material, which might explain the latter’s improved long-term stability and mechanical performance.
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States