Mechanical properties of photo curable polymers

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology in which three dimensional objects are create by laying down successive layers of material. In the stereolithography process (SLA), the liquid starting material is converted into a solid product by light activated polymerization.

The goal of this project is to generate a fundamental understanding of the influence of UV-curing of photo curable polymers on mechanical properties. A method to determine the intrinsic mechanical properties of UV-cured polymers at small length scales will be developed. As a first step one single layer is analysed, thereto micrometer-sized cylindrical samples are prepared via UV-curing and then analysed using compression experiments by means of a nanoindentor.

In order to optimize the 3D printing process, the relations between processing conditions and mechanical properties as well as layer adhesion will be studied.

Research type: experimental