3D Printed Tubulanes as Lightweight Hypervelocity Impact Resistant Structures

SM Sajadi and CF Woellner and P Ramesh and SL Eichmann and QS Sun and PJ Boul and CJ Thaemlitz and MM Rahman and RH Baughman and DS Galvao and CS Tiwary and PM Ajayan, SMALL, 15, 1904747 (2019).

DOI: 10.1002/smll.201904747

Lightweight materials with high ballistic impact resistance and load- bearing capabilities are regarded as a holy grail in materials design. Nature builds these complementary properties into materials using soft organic materials with optimized, complex geometries. Here, the compressive deformation and ballistic impact properties of three different 3D printed polymer structures, named tubulanes, are reported, which are the architectural analogues of cross-linked carbon nanotubes. The results show that macroscopic tubulanes are remarkable high load- bearing, hypervelocity impact-resistant lightweight structures. They exhibit a lamellar deformation mechanism, arising from the tubulane ordered pore structure, manifested across multiple length scales from nano to macro dimensions. This approach of using complex geometries inspired by atomic and nanoscale models to generate macroscale printed structures allows innovative morphological engineering of materials with tunable mechanical responses.

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