Extent of UV Curing in Highly Loaded Systems for Direct Ink Writing
Adams, Zachary Kenneth
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This study investigates the solidification of material 3D-printed via direct ink writing. This material, consisting of monomers, a photoinitiator and silicon microspheres was extruded onto a printing bed. The material was then irradiated with ultraviolet light to polymerize the monomers. Curing time and thickness of the material were varied in order to determine their effect on the solidification process. Quantification of the extent of cure was done using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The data collected show that the degree of conversion tends to decrease as curing time decreases, but the data is inconclusive as to the specific relationship between time and degree of cure. However, due to a combination of a long method development process and the coronavirus pandemic, work on this project was halted before this trend could be definitely proven.