Researchers in Oregon State University’s College of Engineering have taken a key step toward the rapid manufacture of flexible computer screens and other stretchable electronic devices, including soft robots.
The advance by a team within the college’s Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute paves the way toward the 3D printing of tall, complicated structures with a highly conductive gallium alloy.
Researchers put nickel nanoparticles into the liquid metal, galinstan, to thicken it into a paste with a consistency suitable for additive manufacturing.
“The runny alloy was impossible to layer into tall structures,” said Yi?it Mengüç, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and co-corresponding author on the study. “With the paste-like texture, it can be layered while maintaining its capacity to flow, and to stretch inside of rubber tubes. We demonstrated the potential of our discovery by 3D printing a very stretchy two-layered circuit whose layers weave in and out of each other without touching.”
Findings were recently published in Advanced Materials Technologies.
Gallium alloys are already being used as the conductive material in flexible electronics; the alloys have low toxicity and good conductivity, plus they’re inexpensive and “self-healing” – able to attach back together at break points.
But prior to the modification developed at OSU, which used sonication – the energy of sound – to mix the nickel particles and the oxidized gallium into the liquid metal, the alloys’ printability was restricted to 2-dimensional.
For this study, researchers printed structures up to 10 millimeters high and 20 millimeters wide.
“Liquid metal printing is integral to the flexible electronics field,” said co-author Do?an Yirmibe?o?lu, a robotics Ph.D. student at OSU. “Additive manufacturing enables fast fabrication of intricate designs and circuitry.”
The field features a range of products including electrically conductive textiles; bendable displays; sensors for torque, pressure and other types of strain; wearable sensor suits, such as those used in the development of video games; antennae; and biomedical sensors.
“The future is very bright,” Yirmibe?o?lu said. “It’s easy to imagine making soft robots that are ready for operation, that will just walk out of the printer.”
The gallium alloy paste demonstrates several features new to the field of flexible electronics, added co-corresponding author Uranbileg Daalkhaijav, Ph.D. candidate in chemical engineering.
“It can be made easily and quickly,” Daalkhaijav said. “The structural change is permanent, the electrical properties of the paste are comparable to pure liquid metal, and the paste retains self-healing characteristics.”
Future work will explore the exact structure of the paste, how the nickel particles are stabilized, and how the structure changes as the paste ages.
The Latest on: Liquid metal printing
via Google News
The Latest on: Liquid metal printing
- 3D Printing Metal Market Size is projected to reach USD 3.61 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 25.3%: Straits Researchon August 3, 2022 at 9:15 am
In the dental industry, 3D printing technology, called Additive Manufacturing (AM), is used to create patient-friendly dental goods such as partial dentures, ...
- A Navy ship got a giant liquid-metal 3D printer earlier this monthon August 1, 2022 at 4:03 am
The printer doesn’t print in ink. It prints using hot liquid metal, making it a small aluminum fabrication facility in a box. The idea behind putting the device on the ship is for the Navy to ...
- Desktop Metal introduces IN625 material on Studio System 2 3D printeron July 29, 2022 at 5:47 am
Desktop Metal has qualified nickel alloy Inconel 625 for 3D printing on its Studio System 2 machine, which prints and sinters parts in a two-step process.
- How 3D printers can inspire innovation and reduce wasteon July 26, 2022 at 4:00 pm
D printers might have originally been used to create prototypes and product models, but the industry is expanding to produce larger-scale products—and even medical devices.
- This huge liquid-metal 3D printer has been loaded onto a Navy shipon July 24, 2022 at 6:32 am
The massive ElemX printer by Xerox can print liquid aluminum in three dimensions, enabling the USS Essex to make custom creations.
- 3D Printing With Liquid Metalson July 20, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Dickey] from North Carolina State University are slowly working up to that by printing objects with tiny spheres of liquid metal. The medium the team is using for their metallic 3D prints is an ...
- Xerox announce 3D printer installation on USS Essexon July 19, 2022 at 6:01 am
Xerox has announced that one of its ElemX liquid metal printers was installed on board USS Essex (LHD 2), making it the first metal additive manufacturing machine deployed on a U.S Naval vessel.
- Xerox Metal 3D Printer Installed on USS Essexon July 18, 2022 at 2:31 pm
Xerox Additive Solutions announced an ElemX metal 3D printer was installed on an active US Navy ship. The ElemX is a different kind of metal 3D printer. Most metal 3D printers are of the PBF variety, ...
- Xerox® Elem™ Additive and U.S. Navy Deploy First Metal 3D Printer at Seaon July 18, 2022 at 5:08 am
The ElemX leverages Xerox’s liquid metal AM technology that uses standard aluminum wire. Unlike other metal 3D printing technologies, there are no hazardous metal powders with ElemX and no need ...
via Bing News