Development of an elastomeric resin for digital light processing printing
Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Soft pneumatic actuators are ideal for soft robotic applications due to their innate compliance and high power-weight ratios, but their design is limited by the lack of suitable stretchable materials. In this study, a new highly elastic resin for digital light projection 3D printers, designated ElastAMBER, is prepared from a di-functional polyether urethane acrylate oligomer, and a blend of two different diluent monomers. ElastAMBER exhibits a viscosity of 1000 mPa s at 40°C, outperforming previously synthesized elastic resins and allowing easy printing at near room temperatures. The 3D-printed components present an elastomeric behavior with a maximum extension ratio (λ) of 4.02 ± 0.06, ultimate tensile strength of 1.23 ± 0.09 MPa, low hysteresis, and negligible viscoelastic relaxation. Its application in linear soft pneumatic actuators has been demonstrated using a bellows-like construction. ElastAMBER shows promise for creating intrinsically capacitive sensing actuators, displaying a strong correlation between actuator displacement and capacitance. The developed 3D printable ElastAMBER can find potential applications in sensors and actuators for many soft robotic and human-machine interface applications.
Open Access Status
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Australian Research Council