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GO-modified flexible polymer nanocomposites fabricated via 3D stereolithography

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Abstract

Graphene oxide (GO) induced enhancement of elastomer properties showed a great deal of potential in recent years, but it is still limited by the barrier of the complicated synthesis processes. Stereolithography (SLA), used in fabrication of thermosets and very recently in “flexible” polymers with elastomeric properties, presents itself as simple and user-friendly method for integration of GO into elastomers. In this work, it was first time demonstrated that GO loadings can be incorporated into commercial flexible photopolymer resins to successfully fabricate GO/elastomer nanocomposites via readily accessible, consumer-oriented SLA printer. The material properties of the resulting polymer was characterized and tested. The mechanical strength, stiffness, and the elongation of the resulting polymer decreased with the addition of GO. The thermal properties were also adversely affected upon the increase in the GO content based on differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis results. It was proposed that the GO agglomerates within the 3D printed composites, can result in significant change in both mechanical and thermal properties of the resulting nanocomposites. This study demonstrated the possibility for the development of the GO/elastomer nanocomposites after the optimization of the GO/“flexible” photoreactive resin formulation for SLA with suitable annealing process of the composite in future.

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Acknowledgements

This work described in this paper was supported by a grant from the Hong Kong-Scotland Partners in Post Doctoral Research Scheme under the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and the Scotland Government (S-HKU702/15). The research is also supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council via grant number EP/R012164/2 and The Royal Society via grant number RSG\R1\180162.

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Correspondence to Chi Him Alpha Tsang or Dennis Y. C. Leung or Jin Xuan.

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Tsang, C.H.A., Zhakeyev, A., Leung, D.Y.C. et al. GO-modified flexible polymer nanocomposites fabricated via 3D stereolithography. Front. Chem. Sci. Eng. 13, 736–743 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11705-019-1836-x

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Keywords

  • graphene oxide
  • polymer
  • flexible
  • 3D printing
  • stereolithography