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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).

Friday, May 24, 2019

Yokohama chosen as original equipment tire for Toyota’s new RAV4 Crossover SUV - click to expand

Arburg expands in Thailand - click to expand

Global farm tire market is projected to be worth $7.03 billion by 2026 - click to expand

Kentucky issues grants for recycled rubber tires to repave roadways - click to expand

Global hydrogel market forecast with a CAGR of 9 percent through 2024 - click to expand

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Songwon Industrial Group announces first quarter results - click to expand

NTB and Tire Kingdom continue to expand with 27 additional new locations in 2019 - click to expand

DSM and Adaptive 3D Technologies introduce 3D printable photopolymer Soft ToughRubber - click to expand

Nokia Tires launches Shop Talk for tire safety issues - click to expand

ChemSpec hires C.A.S.E. sales manager to support growing adhesive and coating lines - click to expand

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Arburg breaks ground on facility in Lossburg, Germany - click to expand

Bridgestone's Trenton, SC, plant awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification - click to expand

USTMA applauds formation of Congressional Tire Caucus - click to expand

Chem-Trend announces release agent designed for automotive suppliers manufacturing clutches and brakes - click to expand

Falken Tires selected as winner of Suburu of Indiana automotive supplier award - click to expand

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Buss Japan launches full-scale domestic sales of its continuous kneader Compeo series - click to expand

Continental EcoContact 6 is original equipment on Mercedes-Benz C-Class - click to expand

Safic-Alcan opens subsidiary in Greece - click to expand

U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association kicks off of National Tire Safety Week - click to expand

Peak Sport Products to use Cooper Standard’s Applied Materials Science Fortrex technology - click to expand

Monday, May 20, 2019

Thailand to cut rubber exports by 126,240 tons - click to expand

Registration and housing now open for the 2019 International Elastomer Conference - click to expand

Automotive all-season tires market forecast with a CAGR of about 5% by 2023 - click to expand

Titan, Kubota enter exclusivity agreement for Goodyear's R14 tires - click to expand

Global polyolefin elastomer market forecast with a CAGR of 8.7% through 2027 - click to expand

Friday, May 17, 2019

Book of the day - Fatigue, Stress and Strain of Rubber Components, by Judson Bauman - click to expand

Goodyear and Just Tires offering free care care checks for U.S. military this Memorial Day - click to expand

Nexen Tire and The Purple Heart Foundation to give away 2020 Jeep Gladiator to a combat-wounded veteran - click to expand

Bridgestone launches company's first all-weather touring tire in the U.S. and Canada - click to expand

Global automotive elastomer market forecast to reach $62.9 billion by 2024 - click to expand

Market Reports

Global silicone gel market forecast with a CAGR of 8.4% through 2024 - click to expand

Global automotive tire market forecast to reach $618 billion by 2026 - click to expand

Global carbon black market forecast to reach $25.9 billion by 2025 - click to expand

Global farm tire market is projected to worth $7.03 billion by 2026 - click to expand

Global hydrogel market forecast with a CAGR of 9% through 2024 - click to expand

Automotive all-season tires market forecast with a CAGR of about 5% by 2023 - click to expand

Global polyolefin elastomer market forecast with a CAGR of 8.7% through 2027 - click to expand

Global automotive elastomer market forecast to reach $62.9 billion by 2024 - click to expand

Global carbon black market is projected to reach $13.79 billion by 2021 - click to expand

Global adhesives and sealants market forecast with a CAGR of 5.1% through 2026 - click to expand

Latex saturated paper market forecast with at CAGR of 4.3% through 2027 - click to expand

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