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USC Viterbi engineers develop 3D printed self-repairing rubber material

  2/11/2019 - Los Angelos, CA - Instead of throwing away broken boots or cracked toys, why not let them fix themselves? Researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering have developed 3D-printed rubber materials that can do just that. Assistant Professor Qiming Wang works in the world of 3D printed materials, creating new functions for a variety of purposes, from flexible electronics to sound control. Now, working with Viterbi students Kunhao Yu, An Xin and Haixu Du, and University of Connecticut Assistant Professor Ying Li, they have made a new material that can be manufactured quickly and is able to repair itself if it becomes fractured or punctured. This material could be game-changing for industries like shoes, tires, soft robotics, and even electronics, decreasing manufacturing time while increasing product durability and longevity. The material is manufactured using a 3D printing method that uses photopolymerization. This process uses light to solidify a liquid resin in a desired shape or geometry. To make it self-healable, they had to dive a little deeper into the chemistry behind the material. Photopolymerization is achieved through a reaction with a certain chemical group called thiols. By adding an oxidizer to the equation, thiols transform into another group called disulfides. It is the disulfide group that is able to reform when broken, leading to the self-healing ability. Finding the right ratio between these two groups was the key to unlocking the materials’ unique properties. “When we gradually increase the oxidant, the self-healing behavior becomes stronger, but the photopolymerization behavior becomes weaker,” explained Wang. “There is competition between these two behaviors. And eventually we found the ratio that can enable both high self-healing and relatively rapid photopolymerization.” In just five seconds, they can print a 17.5 millimeter square, completing whole objects in around 20 minutes that can repair themselves in just a few hours. In their study, published in NPG Asia Materials, they demonstrate their material’s ability on a range of products, including a shoe pad, a soft robot, a multiphase composite and an electronic sensor. After being cut in half, in just two hours at 60 degrees Celsius (four for the electronics due to the carbon used to transmit electricity) they healed completely, retaining their strength and function. The repair time can be decreased just by raising the temperature. “We actually show that under different temperatures, from 40 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius, the material can heal to almost 100 percent,” said Yu, who was the first author of the study and is studying structural engineering. After conquering 3D-printable soft materials, they are now working to develop different self-healable materials along a range of stiffnesses, from the current soft rubber, to rigid hard plastics. These could be used for vehicle parts, composite materials and even body armor. This study was published on February 1 and funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program (FA9550-18-1-0192) and National Science Foundation (CMMI-1762567).

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Preferred Compounding relaunches Glo-Mold as GloMoldPlus. - click to expand

ARPM’s state of industry report reveals steady outlook for rubber manufacturers - click to expand

Ace Products & Consulting honored as a 2018 Cleveland Technology Award recipient - click to expand

Shoe insert market forecast at $53.1 billion by 2027 - click to expand

Sealing and strapping packaging tapes market is forecast at $22.1 billion by 2023 - click to expand

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cooper Tire and the United Steelworkers ratify new contract for Clarksdale, MS, facility - click to expand

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies launches new test stands for seals for electric powertrains - click to expand

Eastman Technology to present at the Tire Technology Expo in Hannover, Germany - click to expand

Acmos Chemie hires Ralph Lopez as vice president and general manager of newly formed rubber division - click to expand

Bridgestone Retail Operations raises nearly $2.8 million to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America - click to expand

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

3D Systems launches rubber-like 3D printing material for FabPro 1000 - click to expand

Adhesive tape market forecast at $73.5 billion by 2024 - click to expand

Cooper Tire announced its 188th consecutive quarterly dividend of 10.5 cents - click to expand

Yokohama Rubber increases sales for 2018, but decreases in profit - click to expand

Michigan Rubber Group announces speakers for its meeting in Grand Rapids Michigan for March 6, 2019 - click to expand

Cooper Tire and the United Steelworkers ratify new contract for Clarksdale, Mississippi facility - click to expand

Monday, February 18, 2019

Global elastomeric foam market forecast to reach $1.75 billion by 2023 - click to expand

Goodyear and Local Motors join forces on autonomous shuttles - click to expand

Canadian manufacturing activity declined in December - click to expand

Nokian Tyres selected as one of the most sustainable companies in the world - click to expand

Friday, February 15, 2019

Iowa State University researchers find method to improve rubber stability in asphalt - click to expand

Nokian Tyres begins hiring for new factory in Dayton, Tennessee - click to expand

Book of the Day: USA Rubber & Tire Industry Patents 2015-2017 - click to expand

Global surgical gloves market forecast at $1.7 billion by 2025 - click to expand

OTR tire market forecast to reach $7.2 billion by 2024 - click to expand

Thursday, February 14, 2019

American Sustainable Rubber Company appoints Timothy Madden as president - click to expand

Silicone and Thermoplastic Elastomers 2019 U.S. Summit abstracts due Friday, February 15 - click to expand

Nouryon completes organic peroxides expansion in Mexico - click to expand

Global silicone market forecast to reach $18.8 billion by 2022 - click to expand

Global medical tubing market forecast with a CAGR of 8.4 percent through 2026 - click to expand

Market Reports

Shoe insert market forecast at $53.1 billion by 2027 - click to expand

Sealing and strapping packaging tapes market is forecast at $22.1 billion by 2023 - click to expand

Adhesive tape market forecast at $73.5 billion by 2024 - click to expand

Global elastomeric foam market forecast to reach $1.75 billion by 2023 - click to expand

Global surgical gloves market forecast at $1.7 billion by 2025 - click to expand

OTR tire market forecast to reach $7.2 billion by 2024 - click to expand

Global silicone market forecast to reach $18.8 billion by 2022 - click to expand

Global silicon metal market forecast with a CAGR of 4.4% through 2025 - click to expand

Global medical tubing market forecast with a CAGR of 8.4% through 2026 - click to expand

Isoprene rubber latex market forecast to reach $1.17 billion by 2028 - click to expand

Bio-based polymers forecast to grow with a CAGR of 4 percent through 2023 - click to expand

Global aircraft tire market forecast to reach 2.51 billion by 2024 - click to expand

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