Thermoplastic-extrusion 3D printing has gained popularity for the fabrication of electrothermal soft actuators that can control shape in response to temperature changes generated by embedded 3D-printed heaters. However, the material properties, such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, elastic modulus, and damping, significantly impact the performance of these 3D-printed electrothermal actuators. The material properties can be temperature-dependent, and vary based on the print and fill orientation. Current experimental methods cannot simultaneously research these properties, resulting in partial research of the influencing parameters.
This research introduces a simultaneous and non-contact identification method for the elastic modulus, damping, and coefficient of thermal expansion, utilizing optical and thermal cameras, a scanning laser vibrometer, IR heating, and electrodynamic shaker excitation. The method was applied to several materials, including composites. The introduced method can fully characterize the 3D prints and the materials used for 3D printing, leading to the faster and more predictable development of future 3D-printed electrothermal actuators.
Ladisk, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana
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