3D printing plastic in the 'tubulane' structure is extremely complex, a block of plastic resistant to bullets

3D printing is usually small models, for the purpose of studying architectural structures or for display and making toys, they are often fragile.

3D printing is usually small models, for the purpose of studying architectural structures or for display and making toys, they are often fragile. At least, until researchers at Rice University came up with a new way of 3D printing, which allowed plastic to be as hard and durable as diamond.

This plastic structure is crisscrossed zig-zag in a calculated manner, allowing it to withstand strong impact. But the entire solid block retains the properties of a plastic made of many layers, we can still turn it.


Test strength of plastic when arranged in tubulane structure.

This super-solid plastic is shaped like a 'tubulane' , a microscopic structure that exists only theoretically, made up of interlocking carbon nanotubes. According to the "prophecy" of chemist Ray Baughman and physicist Douglas Galvão, in 1993, the tubulane structure would have unusual properties.

Tubulane may be the key to making materials that are both light and strong, but until now, science has not yet produced a true and difficult tubulane material in the production of carbon nanotubes. material science development.

At the time of research, science discovered that the properties of tubulane not only apply to atomic-sized structures. In a new scientific report published in the journal Small, experts from Rice University discovered that these complex structures could exist on a larger scale, large enough to be made by the printer. 3D. Even if it exists at this size, the durable properties remain intact.

Picture 1 of 3D printing plastic in the 'tubulane' structure is extremely complex, a block of plastic resistant to bullets Photo 1 of 3D printing plastic in the 'tubulane' structure is extremely complex, a block of plastic resistant to bullets
Tubulane can be the key to creating materials that are both light and durable.

The researchers took two blocks of plastic, one made from a completely solid polymer and the other made from a printed plastic with a tubulane structure, then subjected it to impact from a flying object at 5.8km / s. No plastic block was destroyed, but the bullet left a large dent on the surface of the solid plastic block and the whole block cracked, while the tubulane structure blocked the bullet right in the second layer of plastic - i.e. The plastic layer after this second layer is intact.

Now sitting down to list what industries can use a material that is both strong and light, it takes time, think of bulletproof armor of the military industry, or satellites / cruise ships of This aerospace industry. Considering its unusual properties and how to create it, the tubulane structure can even change 3D printing technology.