Mechanical engineers have developed a new 3D printing technique that is used to develop intelligent materials and self-adaptive infrastructure and transducers.
Virginia Tech researchers have developed methods for 3D printing supplies of piezoelectric materials that can be modified to change movement, impact, and stress of every direction of electrical energy. Her research was recently published in a magazine Natural materials.
"Piezoelectric materials convert stins and stress into electrically charged," said Xiaoyu Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineer in the college of engineering and member of the Macromolecules Innovation Institute.
Piezoelectric materials are limited definite forms and are made of crumbly crystals and ceramics. Zheng's research team has postponed a 3D technology that prints these materials so they are no longer limited in shape and size.
The materials can also be activated to generate next generation intelligent infrastructure and sensitive materials for non-responsive intake, effect and poor control, energy saving and other applications.
The expensive production process of piezoelectric materials and their inherent brittleness has so far limited the maximization of its potential. The research team developed a model that promotes and designs arbitrary piezoelectric constants, so that the material generates electric charge as a response to incoming forces and vibrations of every direction, through a set of 3D printable topologies.
Unlike conventional piezoelectric technology, where electrical charge movements are presented by the intensive crystals, the new method can use to describe precision magnitudes and to increase, reverse, or suppress programming in the greatest direction.
"We have developed a design method and printing structure to design the sensitivity and operating modes of piezoelectric materials," Zheng said.
"When programming the 3D active topology, you can reach many combinations of piezoelectric coefficients within a material, and use them as transducers and sensors not just flexible and strong, but also respond to pressure, weakness and effects Through electrical signals it tells the location, message and direction of the impact within each location of these materials. "
A factor in the current piezoelectric factory is the natural crystal used. At the atomic level, the orientation of atoms is determined. Zheng & # 39; s team has made a replacement that takes it crystal crystalline, but allows it to change the right angle by changing design.
"We have created a class of highly sensitive piezoelectric tones that can be sculpted in complex three-dimensional ultraviolet light features. The tones contain highly concentrated piezoelectric nanocrystals, associated with UV-sensitive gels, solution – an environmentally friendly solution such as polluted crystals – that we print with a high resolution digital light-3D printer, "Zheng said.
The team has the 3D printed materials present at a fraction of the diameter of a mink hold. "We can help the architect to make and use them more often, for example, when power-consuming devices, so they can't move around any arbitrators," Zheng said. "We can close them down, and make light, disturbed, or energy-absorbing."
The material has a higher sensitivity than flexible piezoelectric polymers. The stiffness and shape of the material can be raised and produced as a thin sheet that is a strip of gaze or a steep block.
"We have a team that makes them in ready-made devices, just like rings, insoles and puts into a boxing hand, where we can get in for forces and health of & # 39" view the user, "said Zheng.
"The ability to realize the desirable mechanical, electrical and thermal properties will require time and measure to develop practical materials," said Shashank Priya, VP VP for research into Penn State and former professor of mechanical engineers in Virginia Tech.
The team created poems and poems to convert walls to convert and account for the mechanical energy, and the applications run well on values and consumer electronics. Zheng looks at the technology as a leap into robotics, energy protection, clever feelings and intelligent infrastructure, where a structure is made entirely with piezoelectric material, sensory impact, bikes and motifs, and makes it possible for anyone to check be and lies.
The team has pushed a small danger bridge to earn its application to find the locations of leading effects, as well as its mate, while robust enough to absorb the power of energy. The team also applied a palatable transducer that does not conclude electrical voltage switching modes.
"Traditionally, if you wanted to control the internal power of a structure, you would have had many institutional sensors placed over the structure, each with a number of leads and connections," said Huachen Cui, a doctoral student with Zheng and first author of the Natural materials paper. "Here is the structure itself the sensor – it can even check."