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Additive manufacturing of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Copper-Tungsten-Silver alloy

John Robinson (Additive Manufacturing of Functional Materials (AMFM) Research Group, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK and Additive Analytics Ltd., Telford, UK)
Arun Arjunan (Additive Manufacturing of Functional Materials (AMFM) Research Group, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Ahmad Baroutaji (Additive Manufacturing of Functional Materials (AMFM) Research Group, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Miguel Martí (Centro de Investigación Traslacional San Alberto Magno, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Valencia, Spain, and)
Alberto Tuñón Molina (Centro de Investigación Traslacional San Alberto Magno, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Valencia, Spain, and)
Ángel Serrano-Aroca (Centro de Investigación Traslacional San Alberto Magno, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir, Valencia, Spain, and)
Andrew Pollard (Additive Manufacturing of Functional Materials (AMFM) Research Group, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 2 October 2021

Issue publication date: 18 November 2021

810

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasises the need for antiviral materials that can reduce airborne and surface-based virus transmission. This study aims to propose the use of additive manufacturing (AM) and surrogate modelling for the rapid development and deployment of novel copper-tungsten-silver (Cu-W-Ag) microporous architecture that shows strong antiviral behaviour against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Design/methodology/approach

The research combines selective laser melting (SLM), in-situ alloying and surrogate modelling to conceive the antiviral Cu-W-Ag architecture. The approach is shown to be suitable for redistributed manufacturing by representing the pore morphology through a surrogate model that parametrically manipulates the SLM process parameters: hatch distance (h_d), scan speed (S_s) and laser power (L_p). The method drastically simplifies the three-dimensional (3D) printing of microporous materials by requiring only global geometrical dimensions solving current bottlenecks associated with high computed aided design data transfer required for the AM of porous materials.

Findings

The surrogate model developed in this study achieved an optimum parametric combination that resulted in microporous Cu-W-Ag with average pore sizes of 80 µm. Subsequent antiviral evaluation of the optimum architecture showed 100% viral inactivation within 5 h against a biosafe enveloped ribonucleic acid viral model of SARS-CoV-2.

Research limitations/implications

The Cu-W-Ag architecture is suitable for redistributed manufacturing and can help reduce surface contamination of SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, further optimisation may improve the virus inactivation time.

Practical implications

The study was extended to demonstrate an open-source 3D printed Cu-W-Ag antiviral mask filter prototype.

Social implications

The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic brings new and unpredictable challenges where redistributed manufacturing of 3D printed antiviral materials can achieve rapid solutions.

Originality/value

The papers present for the first time a methodology to digitally conceive and print-on-demand a novel Cu-W-Ag alloy that shows high antiviral behaviour against SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was conducted with support from the CALMERIC grant (European Commission, Grant number: 32R19P03053); University of Wolverhampton; Additive Analytics Ltd. UK and EOS GmbH.

Data availability The data that supports the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Citation

Robinson, J., Arjunan, A., Baroutaji, A., Martí, M., Tuñón Molina, A., Serrano-Aroca, Á. and Pollard, A. (2021), "Additive manufacturing of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Copper-Tungsten-Silver alloy", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 27 No. 10, pp. 1831-1849. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-06-2021-0131

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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