Integration of smart functional additives into polymers

© Fraunhofer IAP
In the figure the working priciple of the self-lubricating composite is shown. First the cpasules are sitting in the composite undisturbed. As soon as friction come into play, the microcpasules close to the surface break and release the liquid lubricant, which spreads on the surface and reduces the friction coefficient. If the friction increases again, a new protion of lubricant is released. In this way the life time of the composite can be significantly increased.

The goal of the project was to produce 3D-printed functional parts by integration of smart additives. One example of smart additive are core-shell microcpasules with liquid core made of a lubricating oil. The microcapsules containig up to 90wt.% of liquid lubricant and posessing an outstanding thermal stability (ca. 280°C) can be isolated as a dry powder and handled as a conventional solid additive. The capsules were integrated first into the filaments and further into the 3D-printed parts. Integration of other additives (UV stabilizers, energy storage materials like PCMs, healing components etc.) is also potentially possible. 





Fraunhofer IAP, Dr. Alexandra Latnikova,, 0331 568-1207