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Pattern transformation of heat-shrinkable polymer by three-dimensional (3D) printing technique.


ABSTRACT: A significant challenge in conventional heat-shrinkable polymers is to produce controllable microstructures. Here we report that the polymer material fabricated by three-dimensional (3D) printing technique has a heat-shrinkable property, whose initial microstructure can undergo a spontaneous pattern transformation under heating. The underlying mechanism is revealed by evaluating internal strain of the printed polymer from its fabricating process. It is shown that a uniform internal strain is stored in the polymer during the printing process and can be released when heated above its glass transition temperature. Furthermore, the internal strain can be used to trigger the pattern transformation of the heat-shrinkable polymer in a controllable way. Our work provides insightful ideas to understand a novel mechanism on the heat-shrinkable effect of printed material, but also to present a simple approach to fabricate heat-shrinkable polymer with a controllable thermo-structural response.

SUBMITTER: Zhang Q 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4355736 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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