Photopolymer Wave Guides, Mechanical Metamaterials and Woven Wire Realisation Methods for Metallic Microlattice Structures
This chapter discusses two alternative methods for manufacturing microlattice structures. In the first method, ultra violet light is shone into a liquid photopolymer, and the liquid solidifies in the volume that the light beam has irradiated. This means that complex lattice structures can be created out of liquid polymer. This lattice can either be used to create solid metallic microlattice structures, using investment casting techniques, or the lattice can be electroless plated with nickel phosphorus alloy. In the latter case, the polymer core is then removed, to produce ultra lightweight hollow microlattices. This chapter discusses mainly the manufacture, materials and progressive collapse of the ultra lightweight, hollow, microlattices. Such structures are an important class of the emerging field of mechanical metamaterials, and the latter are briefly introduced. The second method discussed is woven metal. In this, the metal wire (of the order of 1 mm in diameter) is shaped in three dimensions, and touching nodes are soldered or brazed. Relative densities of 6–43% can be obtained. Highly complex lattice patterns can be obtained. Both methods can be used to create shell lattice (Shellular) structures. Photopolymer wave guides are discussed first.
KeywordsPhoto polymer wave guides Electroless plating Investment casting Mechanical metamaterials Shellular Woven wire
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