The Industrial PhD project called AMA (Advanced Materials for Additive manufacturing) is awarded by SAMPE Italy for participating in the SAMPE Europe Conference to be held in Baden/Zurich from 29 to 30 September. The event involves, among others, partners such as Airbus, Boeing, JEC group, Evonik and Suprem.
The AMA project, carried out by Dr Claudio Tosto at the University of Catania under the tutoring of Professor Gianluca Cicala, is carried out in collaboration with a foreign partner (University of Limerick) and ACS (Advanced Composites Solutions) from Italy.
In the latter location, hybrid 3D printing systems were studied and implemented for the manufacture of composites having hollow geometries. The lamination of various parts with more or less complex shapes and of industrial interest (i.e. internal ducts, handlebars for mountain bikes) took place by eliminating the use of metal molds and using exclusively 3D printed mandrels.
The formulation of new AM materials, filaments and photocurable resins, took place at the Polymers and Composites Laboratory of the DICAr (Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture), of which Prof. Cicala is responsible, where there are several 3D printers (FDM, FFF, LCD and PolyJet).
The formulation work explored the use of new materials for filament printing, also making use of the extrusion lines (double and single screw) that the group is equipped with. In addition to the classic FDM/FFF process, a new process, the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), has recently appeared in the AM scene as a technique that can compete with mass manufacturing. In the laboratory, new materials have been studied that are able to withstand modest thermal stress conditions (see applications in the automotive field). Therefore, the contribution of polymer blends formulation was essential, the fruit of which has been seen in the creation of products capable of having thermomechanical properties significantly superior to the blends currently available for LCD printing [C Tosto et al. Polymers, 2020, 12, 1595. DOI: 10.3390/polym12071594].