Three-dimensional (3D) micro structured beams reinforced with a single-walled carbon nanotube (C-SWNT)/polymer nanocomposite were fabricated using an approach based on the infiltration of 3D microfluidic networks. The 3D microfluidic network was first fabricated by the direct-write assembly method, which consists of the robotized deposition of fugitive ink filaments on an epoxy substrate, forming thereby a 3D micro structured scaffold. After encapsulating the 3D micro-scaffold structure with an epoxy resin, the fugitive ink was liquefied and removed, resulting in a 3D network of interconnected microchannels. This microfluidic network was then infiltrated by a polymer loaded with C-SWNTs and subsequently cured. Prior to their incorporation in the polymer matrix, the UV-laser synthesized C-SWNTs were purified, functionalized and dispersed into the matrix using a three-roll mixing mill. The final samples consist of rectangular beams having a complex 3D skeleton structure of C-SWNT/polymer nanocomposite fibers, adapted to offer better performance under flexural solicitation. Dynamic mechanical analysis in flexion showed an increase of 12.5% in the storage modulus compared to the resin infiltrated beams. The nanocomposite infiltration of microfluidic networks demonstrated here opens new prospects for the achievement of 3D reinforced micro structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering