Mechanical, Electromagnetic, and X-ray Shielding Characterization of a 3D Printable Tungsten–Polycarbonate Polymer Matrix Composite for Space-Based Applications

Corey M. Shemelya, Armando Rivera, Angel Torrado Perez, Carmen Rocha, Min Liang, Xiaoju Yu, Craig Kief, David Alexander, James Stegeman, Hao Xin, Ryan B. Wicker, Eric MacDonald, David A. Roberson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Material-extrusion three-dimensional (3D) printing has recently attracted much interest because of its process flexibility, rapid response to design alterations, and ability to create structures “on-the-go”. For this reason, 3D printing has possible applications in rapid creation of space-based devices, for example cube satellites (CubeSat). This work focused on fabrication and characterization of tungsten-doped polycarbonate polymer matrix composites specifically designed for x-ray radiation-shielding applications. The polycarbonate–tungsten polymer composite obtained intentionally utilizes low loading levels to provide x-ray shielding while limiting effects on other properties of the material, for example weight, electromagnetic functionality, and mechanical strength. The fabrication process, from tungsten functionalization to filament extrusion and material characterization, is described, including printability, determination of x-ray attenuation, tensile strength, impact resistance, and gigahertz permittivity, and failure analysis. The proposed materials are uniquely advantageous when implemented in 3D printed structures, because even a small volume fraction of tungsten has been shown to substantially alter the properties of the resulting composite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2598-2607
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Polymer composites
  • fracture analysis
  • material testing
  • mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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