Additive production of 3D-structured, highly filled nanoparticle-reinforced composite materials
Authors: L. Windisch, B. Finke and C. Schilde
Composite materials are the fundament for a wide variety of applications in areas such as aerospace, shipbuilding, or electromobility. Compared to pure materials, they make it possible to increase the efficiency of structures significantly. Additionally, by using nanomaterials, especially nanoparticles, product properties can be further improved, or even new properties can be achieved. Through 3D structuring of components, properties can be adapted even more individually and locally, resulting in a wide variety of design possibilities. Especially when dealing with fine powders, precise and high-resolution dosing of materials remains a major challenge in research and development. Microdosing is relevant, for example, in the pharmaceutical industry for exact dosing of smallest amounts of active substances or in additive manufacturing processes for varying the properties of the powder bed.
Within this framework, the aim of this study is the production of graded and 3D-structured composite materials from powdery bulk materials. Hereby, carbon black as an electrically conductive component and aluminium oxide as ceramic electrically insulating component were embedded in a matrix of epoxy resin. The powders were produced from suspensions with different compositions and particulate mass contents. A specially developed ultrasound-based system for microdosing of fine powders was used for high-resolution, local adaptation of product properties and the generation of three-dimensional property profiles within the specimens. Further, the dosing process was analysed and evaluated qualitatively. For this, different boehmite powders were used as a model system to investigate the influence of various parameters such as the particle and agglomerate shape and size as well as the acting adhesive forces. Subsequently, material-specific characteristics such as the electrical conductivity and deformation behavior of the hot-pressed specimens were determined and compared.
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