Workshop on nanocomposite polymers for 3D-printing of high-tech structures

University of Namur, Belgium, 22-23 May 2018

The workshop aims at gathering researchers interested in material-science aspects of additive manufacturing. The focus of the workshop is put on the use of polymers and composite polymers for 3D printing. A special attention is paid to polymers doped with carbon nanostructures for the making of three-dimensional conducting structures. Open to all the interested researchers, the workshop is organized in the framework of the H2020 Graphene-3D project. The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie-sklodowska Curie grant agreement N° 734164.  The program includes 10 invited talks, 4 oral contributions and a poster session.

Attendance is free, but registration is mandatory.

Graphene-3D is a joint project on graphene-polymer research based on knowledge sharing in a multidisciplinary international/inter-sectoral consortium of ten partners. The central objective of the project is to design and produce, by additive manufacturing, conducting cellular structures with tailored electromagnetic properties in the GHz and near THz frequency domains. These structure must be light, mechanically robust, and chemically inert.

In addition, they must hold special thermal characteristics. An example of multi-functionality such structure could have is to provide an efficient protection against electromagnetic interference of an electronic device, while making it possible to drain the heat produced by the shielded device.

The cellular structures are manufactured from composite polymers compatible with the 3D printing technology. To become conducting, the polymer is filled with a small fraction of graphene nanoplatlets and other carbon nanostructures. A real challenge of the project is to optimize the formulation and microstructure of the composite according to targeted properties (rheological, mechanical, electrical, thermal …), production cost and environmental footprint. It is important that the characteristics of the composite be robust against fluctuations of the many parameters that enter the production process. In parallel to the important research effort in nanocarbon-polymer composite, computer simulation and experimental measurements are performed to investigate how the geometry of a cellular structure and the characteristics of its constituent material influence its multifunctional performances.

The H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016-734164 Graphene 3D is 48 months research project that facilitates knowledge transfer between height research centers and  two SMEs located in Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy, Belarus, Georgia, China and Brazil. Research and innovation staff members strongly benefit from being part of this international and multidisciplinary project consortium. By the end of the year 2020, about 46 researchers will have exchanged 234 secondments funded by the EU for overall 430 researcher months to reach the project objectives. 

Two final prototypes are foreseen from this project:  

  • prototype of robust, multifunctional graphene-based polymer nanocomposite, suitable for 3D printing application;
  • prototype of 3D printed cellular structures with tunable properties, fabricated with the graphene-based nanocomposite, having potential for application in power electronics.

At the end of the project, a "Joint Laboratory on graphene-polymer research" will be created by the consortium partners with long-term implication.