Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Tunable Mechanical Anisotropy, Crack Guiding, and Toughness Enhancement in Two‐Stage Reactive Polymer Networks



Lewis M. Cox, Adrienne K. Blevins, Jasper A. Drisko, Yifu Ding, Callie I. Higgins, Rong Long, Christopher N. Bowman, Jason P. Killgore


Photopolymers are a versatile group of materials that enable intricate geometric control over printed part geometries in advanced manufacturing processes. However, manufacturing methods attempting to spatially control material heterogeneity within printed parts introduce mechanical weaknesses that compromise part integrity. An emerging class of photopolymers, known as two-stage reactive polymer networks (TSRPs), promise a unique ability to photo pattern heterogeneity within a continuous polymer network in a manner which may be able to address these deficiencies. However, the mechanical performance of these materials has never been studied. In this work the ability to pattern mechanical heterogeneity and control performance of TSRPs is investigated. Using simple and affordable processing methodologies tunable mechanical anisotropy is displayed, defect-independent crack guiding through soft material is demonstrated for the first time, and bio-inspired microstructures are shown to enable performance enhancement beyond what is anticipated by the rule of mixtures in composites.
Advanced Engineering Materials


Cox, L. , Blevins, A. , Drisko, J. , Ding, Y. , Higgins, C. , Long, R. , Bowman, C. and Killgore, J. (2019), Tunable Mechanical Anisotropy, Crack Guiding, and Toughness Enhancement in Two‐Stage Reactive Polymer Networks, Advanced Engineering Materials, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 12, 2019, Updated September 4, 2020