Molecular simulation of thermoset curing: application to 3D printing materials
A thermoset is a polymer that is irreversibly hardened by curing from a soft solid or viscous liquid prepolymer or resin. Typically, heat or suitable radiation induce curing that can be enhanced by high pressure or mixing with a catalyst.
Recent advances in additive manufacturing have enabled 3D printing of thermosetting polymers.
Thermosets offer superior solvent and heat resistance compared to thermoplastics used in conventional 3D printing processes.
Márk Jenei, a PhD student in the Macromolecular Materials Laboratory of a BIOVIA Ambassador Professor James Elliott at the University of Cambridge.
Márk has developed methods to simulate the complex polymerization processes that occur in 3D printing of bismaleimide photo-curable inks. The methods, developed in BIOVIA Materials Studio, offer a molecular insight in the structure of large-scale 3D polymer networks.
Combined with thermomechanical measurements this can lead to a better understanding of the structure-property relationship, with potential to guide materials design.
, Molecular Simulation (2020), DOI: 10.1080/08927022.2020.1829613).
The work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through an Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Technology (iCASE) studentship in conjunction with Dassault Systèmes BIOVIA.