We are measuring the fundamental processes and material parameters that are critical to understanding and furthering polymers-based AM. These efforts will aid the AM ecosystem through better online monitoring capabilities and developing strategies for materials optimization.
- In situ measurements of the critical processes that occur in polymers based additive manufacturing with an initial focus on polymers extrusion additive manufacturing. We are developing in situ measures of temperature, stress and crystallization for creation of models that incorporate rheology and process parameters. This will enable direct feedback approaches during printing, quality assurance schemes and strategies for optimization of materials and processes.
- Flow Induced Crystallization (FIC) of Polymers and Nano-composites: It is long known that flow can dramatically increase the crystallization rate of molten polymers, but a molecular description of the underlying reason is still lacking. The ability to predict and control FIC may be critical to effective welding of semi-crystalline polymers and their composites in 3D printing. We are developing instrumentation and models to understand how the crystallization rate is changed by the 3D printing environment and the ultimate effect on part strength. We have developed the rheo-Raman microcsope in support of these objectives.