New siloxane inks for 3D printing with improved layer-layer cohesion
UC Santa Barbara
Extrusion-based 3D printing methods such as direct-ink writing (DIW) generate parts with well-known mechanical anisotropy due to poorly formed interfaces between extruded filaments. Although such structural defects can be partially mitigated by decreasing extrusion speed and post-print treatments, a more versatile solution would involve the incorporation of small molecule additives into commercial ink formulations leading to improved layer–layer interfaces, self-healing properties, and recyclability. We propose to incorporate comonomers featuring dynamic covalent bonds into high-performance siloxane inks for DIW. Using this simple strategy, we hypothesize that the strength of layer–layer interfaces will be improved and that dynamic exchange will provide a convenient mechanism to readily weld elastomeric parts together after printing.