The 2018 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes a 3D printed graphene aerogel as the “least dense 3D printed structure.”
According to researchers at Kansas State University, the material is superelastic, conductive and light; thus it could improve electronic objects and batteries’ capacities.
Furthermore, that could be understandable since the market of graphene is characterized by its mechanical strength exceeding steel, electric and thermal conductivity as well as unusual magnetic properties.
In addition, there is an increasing need for better batteries, smart wearables and flexible LED screens that can be filled thanks to additive manufacturing and the way it makes use of this material’s potential.
What 3D printing method has been used?
Professors Dong Lin, Chi Zhou and Qiangqiang Zhang (respectively of Kansas State University, University at Buffalo and Qiangqiang Zhang Lanzhou University) used the inkjet 3D printing into deep freeze to develop the lightweight of the material.
Once printed, two freezing processes are required to cement the particles together. The 3D aerogel is then obtained after a 48 hour drying process and thermal and thermal annealing.
The 3D printed graphene aerogel just weighs 0.5 milligrams per cubic centimetre, implying that the most fragile objects (flower, cotton balls) can bear the material without bending.
The Small journal, Volume 12, Issue 13 gives further information about this collaboration.