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JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsges. m.b.H. Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics - Coordinator

Role in the project

JR-MATERIALS will be responsible for the overall coordination of the project including scientific and administrative matters. The core technology to be developed by JR is the reactive inkjet printing as a technique to enable the additive manufacturing of novel thermoset composites based on epoxy-polyamine resins. The specific tasks are: adjusting the inks to render them jettable with standard printheads, developing of the reactive inkjet printing technology and the manufacturing of the inkjet printed samples for mechanical testing.

Relevant expertise

At JOANNEUM RESEARCH, the MATERIALS – Institute of Surface Technologies and Photonics, focuses on technologies, products and processes in the fields of functional printing, chemical and biosensor systems, micro- and nanostructuring, as well as optical technologies. The team at JR has an extensive experience in the formulation, adaption and process development in the field of additive manufacturing including a state of the art equipment infrastructure for printing, including a customized Pixdro LP50 printing platform, which will be used in the proposed project, as well as various techniques for material characterization (Viscosimetry, Tensiometry, AFM, Profilometry, SEM, etc.). JR counts on an interdisciplinary team of researchers in the fields of chemistry, physics, polymer engineering, to cope with the challenges of this project.

Added value

The team Sensors and Functional Printing at JR MATERIALS specializes in the development and adaptation of new functional inks and printing processes, particularly in the field of AM. The Pixdro LP50 printing platform can be customized to a variety of particular needs, such as various printheads (e.g. the dual printhead needed for reactive inkjet printing), light sources for curing, heated printing platforms, etc. The team of experts at JR has hands-on experience in the adaptation of the printing platform, as well as customizing the hardware and software to achieve the goal of reactive inkjet printing.

bto epoxy

Role in the project

Development of a low-viscosity ink system for reactive inkjet printing, consisting of epoxy base (ink 1) and hardener (ink 2).

Relevant expertise

The bto-epoxy GmbH specializes in developing customized epoxy systems. Until today, bto-epoxy has delivered multiple innovative products, e.g. an epoxy resin system for an innovative method to manufacture fibre fabrics and a novel gelcoat-system for processing prepregs. Within the project HieroComp, the company has developed two component epoxy-amine resins for dispersing reactive silica nanoparticles. The resins compromised good mechanical properties with a very low viscosity. This know-how is essential in order to transform the resin components into a jettable ink. The team dealing with the ink development will be led by Manfred Sieberer, who has more than 30 years of hands on experience in the design of specialty epoxy resins.

Added value

The know-how coming from previous funded projects, especially HieroComp. bto-epoxy’s unique approach to develop resin formulations from scratch has the potential to offer properties which were not described before, e.g. a low-viscosity epoxy system that ends up as a cured product with excellent mechanical properties. Previous experience also taught bto-epoxy how to get stable suspensions of silica nanoparticles in the hardener. This knowledge will be directly applicable in the proposed project.

Montanuniversität Leoben, Chair in Chemistry of Polymeric Materials

Role in the project

At the Chair in Chemistry of Polymeric Materials, functional silica (SiO2) nanoparticles bearing azidophenyl moieties at their surface will prepared and characterized.

Relevant expertise

The Chair in Chemistry of Polymeric Materials (MU Leoben) specializes in the fields of polymer photochemistry, photo-structuring and patterning as well as the functionalization of inorganic surfaces and inorganic nanoparticles. The Chair in Chemistry of Polymeric Materials provides fully equipped chemical laboratories for preparative work, and instrumentation for the characterization of materials and their surfaces, e.g., FTIR microscopy, NMR spectroscopy, XPS spectroscopy, gas-chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), contact angle measurements, etc. Furthermore, all equipment for performing light induced reactions is available, including different UV light sources, a photochemical reactor as well as instruments to activate surfaces prior to functionalization (corona, plasma).

Added value

Moieties which are capable of undergoing coupling reactions, photo-induced reactions, as well as heat stimulated transformations are in the focus of research at MUL. The team successfully participated in a preceding joint MUL-UPB M-Era.Net project named HieroComp, within which a new class of monodisperse photo- and thermoreactive nanoparticles was developed.

University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest

Role in the project

UPB will lead the modelling effort and will develop the concept and tools required for microstructural design of parts of complex geometry. This will be performed by integrating finite element analysis with in-house developed packages for optimization. UPB will also collaborate with INCAS on testing the printed and casted samples. Testing equipment available includes Instron 8872 for static tests with environmental chamber in between -70oC ÷ +200oC, Aramis GOM system, Dantec Dynamics µDIC solution for microscopic measurements with software ISTRA 4D, thermal imaging camera FLIR T660) and FEM ANSYS.

Relevant expertise

The UPB team has more than 15 years of experience with polymers and polymer nanocomposites and about 4 years with 3D printing. Between 2015-2018 an M.ERA-NET project in composite technology involving UPB and MUL titled “Functional hierarchical composites for structural applications,” proved to be successful. In the period 2012-16 a national project with 5 partners was dedicated to “High performance lightweight panels with a new optimized design for advanced aircraft structures,” in which cores with chiral topologies were also studied and fused deposition modelling (FDM 3D SYSTEMS) was used for their fabrication. The principal investigators in the proposed project will be: Dan Mihai Constantinescu specialized in experimental and numerical studies of composite materials with emphasis on interlaminar and intralaminar failure and damage of composites and foams. He served as principal investigator in 25 contracts. Catalin Radu Picu, professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and visiting professor at UPB. Catalin Picu has over 25 years of research experience, of which more than 20 as lead researcher. His research activity focuses on various aspects of the mechanics of materials. Ştefan Sorohan professor at UPB, is specialized in using the finite element method and performing multiscale structural analyses.

Added value

UPB will contribute to this project with modelling and simulation and material testing and characterization. The modelling effort will include: the development of methods and tools to perform microstructural design and optimization, tools for multiscale modelling of complex microstructures, methods to perform coupled structural-microstructural design of specific components. Modelling results will be used to guide 3D printing. Results of testing will validate the models which will then be further used to explore the design space. UPB will also contribute to the testing and characterization of printed samples by performing mechanical testing (quasistatic uniaxial, toughness). Local evaluation of strain fields by a µDIC solution for microscopic measurements followed by global DIC evaluation of the materials behaviour during mechanical testing. Performs DSC analyses for tested materials.

National Institute for Aerospace Research "Elie Carafoli"

Role in the project

INCAS will perform material characterization by heat deflection temperature (HDT) and SEM microscopy, together with tribological characterization.

Relevant expertise

The research activities of the INCAS team focus on developing composites and nanocomposites for aerospace applications. The research group of Materials and Tribology Unit performed in the past research of nanoaditives in polymer matrix. In the national project: UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) platform with dedicated capabilities and support infrastructure for applications in national security missions we are using AM technology to develop structural components of UAV. The INCAS team will be composed of: Dr. Adriana Stefan, Head of Material and tribology Unit, with 18 years of experience in materials science and technology. She is specialized in electron microscopy and has experience in polymeric composites and nanocomposites mechanical characterization and thermo-physical tests of these materials. George Pelin, PhD in Chemical Engineering from 2017, specialized and trained on static mechanical characterization, characterization of thermal stability under mechanical loading and tribological characterization.

Added value

INCAS will focus on testing and material characterization of printed samples by performing microscopy characterization, tribological evaluation (wear and friction, indentation and scratch), and thermal stability analysis.