Characterization 0.1 wt.% Nanomaterial/Photopolymer Composites with Poor Nanomaterial Dispersion : Viscosity, Cure Depth and Dielectric Properties
Notably, 3D printing techniques such as digital light processing (DLP) have the potential for the cost-effective and flexible production of polymer-based piezoelectric composites. To improve their properties, conductive nanomaterials can be added to the photopolymer to increase their dielectric properties. In this study, the microstructure, viscosity, cure depth, and dielectric properties of ultraviolet (UV) light curable 0.1 wt.% nanomaterial/photopolymer composites are investigated. The composites with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs), and carbon black (CB) are pre-dispersed in different solvents (acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and ethanol) before adding photopolymer and continuing dispersion. For all prepared suspensions, a reduction in viscosity is observed, which is favorable for 3D printing. In contrast, the addition of 0.1 wt.% nanomaterials, even with poor dispersion, leads to curing depth reduction up to 90% compared to pristine photopolymer, where the nanomaterial dispersion is identified as a contributing factor. The formulation of MWCNTs dispersed in ethanol is found to be the most promising for increasing the dielectric properties. The post-curing of all composites leads to charge immobility, resulting in decreased relative permittivity.