Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology have set a new world record. In essence, they 3D printed complex articles with higher cellulose content than that of any other additively built cellulose-based elements. To achieve this, they used a clever trick.
Trees lead the way: they build cellulose themselves and use it to develop complex structures with extraordinary mechanical characteristics. That makes cellulose attractive to supplies scientists who’re seeking to fabricate sustainable products with particular functions. Nevertheless, processing materials into complicated structures with high cellulose content continues to be a big problem for materials scientists.
A team of researchers at ETH Zurich and Empa have now discovered a way to process cellulose utilizing 3D printing to create objects of virtually unlimited complexity that contain excessive levels of cellulose particles.
To do that, the researchers combined printing via direct ink writing (DIW) technique with a subsequent densification procedure to extend the cellulose content of the printed object to a quantity fraction of 27%. Their work was recently featured in the Advanced Functional Materials journal.
The ETH and Empa scientists are admittedly not the first to procedure cellulose with the 3D printer. Nonetheless, previous approaches, which additionally used cellulose-containing ink, haven’t been capable of producing solid objects with such a high cellulose content and complexity.
The composition of the printing ink is very simple. It consists of water in which cellulose particles and fibers measuring a few hundred nanometers have been dispersed.