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Experimental investigations into additive manufacturing of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene block copolymers using solvent cast 3D printing technique

Arun Kumar (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Pulak Mohan Pandey (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India and Bundelkhand Institute of Engineering and Technology, Jhansi, India)
Sunil Jha (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Shib Shankar Banerjee (Department of Material Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 22 March 2023

Issue publication date: 3 July 2023

414

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the successful 3D printing of styrene–ethylene–butylene–styrene (SEBS) block copolymers using solvent-cast 3D printing (SC-3DP) technique.

Design/methodology/approach

Three different Kraton grade SEBS block copolymers were used to prepare viscous polymer solutions (ink) in three different solvents, namely, toluene, cyclopentane and tetrahydrofuran. Hansen solubility parameters (HSPs) were taken into account to understand the solvent–polymer interactions. Ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy was used to analyze transmittance behavior of different inks. Printability of ink samples was compared in terms of shape retention capability, solvent evaporation and shear viscosity. Dimensional deviations in 3D-printed parts were evaluated in terms of percentage shrinkage. Surface morphology of 3D-printed parts was investigated by scanning electron microscope. In addition, mechanical properties and rheology of the SC-3D-printed SEBS samples were also investigated.

Findings

HSP analysis revealed toluene to be the most suitable solvent for SC-3DP. Cyclopentane showed a strong preferential solubility toward the ethylene–butylene block. Microscopic surface cracks were present on tetrahydrofuran ink-based 3D-printed samples. SC-3D-printed samples exhibited high elongation at break (up to 2,200%) and low tension set (up to 9%).

Practical implications

SC-3DP proves to be an effective fabrication route for complex SEBS parts overcoming the challenges associated with fused deposition modeling.

Originality/value

To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first report investigating the effect of different solvents on physicomechanical properties of SC-3D-printed SEBS block copolymer samples.

Keywords

Citation

Kumar, A., Pandey, P.M., Jha, S. and Banerjee, S.S. (2023), "Experimental investigations into additive manufacturing of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene block copolymers using solvent cast 3D printing technique", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 1367-1385. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-08-2022-0249

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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