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Properties of polylactide inks for solvent-cast printing of three-dimensional freeform microstructures

Shuangzhuang Guo, Marie-Claude Heuzey, Daniel Therriault

Article (2014)

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Abstract

Solvent-cast printing is a highly versatile microfabrication technique that can be used to construct various geometries such as filaments, towers, scaffolds and freeform circular spirals by the robotic deposition of a polymer solution ink onto a moving stage. In this work, we have performed a comprehensive characterization of the solvent-cast printing process using polylactide (PLA) solutions by analyzing the flow behavior of the solutions, the solvent evaporation kinetics and the effect of process-related parameters on the crystallization of the extruded filaments. Rotational rheometry at low to moderate shear rates showed a nearly Newtonian behavior of the PLA solutions, while capillary flow analysis based on process-related data indicated shear-thinning at high shear rates. Solvent vaporization tests suggested that the internal diffusion of the solvent through the filaments controlled the solvent removal of the extrudates. Different kinds of three-dimensional (3D) structures including a layer-by-layer tower, 9-layer scaffold and freeform spiral were fabricated, and a processing map was given to show the proper ranges of process-related parameters (i.e., polymer content, applied pressure, nozzle diameter and robot velocity) for the different geometries. The results of differential scanning calorimetry revealed that slow solvent evaporation could increase the ability of PLA to complete its crystallization process during the filament drying stage. The method developed here offers a new perspective for manufacturing complex structures from polymer solutions and provide guidelines to optimize the various parameters for 3D geometry fabrication.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Polylactide, solvent-cast, 3D printing, rheology, crystallization, microfabrication

Subjects: 1700 Design and manufacturing > 1702 Advanced manufacturing
1800 Chemical engineering > 1800 Chemical engineering
2100 Mechanical engineering > 2100 Mechanical engineering
Department: Department of Chemical Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Research Center: CREPEC - Center for Applied Research on Polymers and Composites
LM2 - Laboratory for Multi-scale Mechanics
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, Canada Research Chair
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/10409/
Journal Title: Langmuir (vol. 30, no. 4)
Publisher: ACS
DOI: 10.1021/la4036425
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1021/la4036425
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2022 10:11
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2022 22:51
Cite in APA 7: Guo, S., Heuzey, M.-C., & Therriault, D. (2014). Properties of polylactide inks for solvent-cast printing of three-dimensional freeform microstructures. Langmuir, 30(4), 1142-1150. https://doi.org/10.1021/la4036425

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