AccScience Publishing / MSAM / Volume 3 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/msam.2711
Cite this article
Journal Browser
Volume | Year
News and Announcements
View All

Using agglomerate-free nanopowder as sliding friction reducer between alumina platelets in an ultraviolet-curable slurry for vat polymerization additive manufacturing

Ming Xuan Gan1* Lijie Zhang1,2 Guanjin Li1 Tao Li3 Beng Wah Chua3 Jiansheng Liu2
Show Less
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Advanced Manufacturing, Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China
3 Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Submitted: 11 January 2024 | Accepted: 19 February 2024 | Published: 14 March 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Nature’s ability to adapt and survive the harshest environment offers humankind an important source of muses in the efforts to create and improve existing materials. In this study, we demonstrated a concept of using agglomerate-free nanopowder as a sliding friction reducer between alumina platelets in a slurry. An ultraviolet-curable slurry containing predominantly alumina platelets exhibited favorable rheological characteristics to align the platelets with a coating blade in a vat polymerization printer. Consequently, a ceramic part with nacre‑like structure could be printed and infiltrated with a secondary phase. Microscopy study on the fracture surfaces revealed various toughening mechanisms such as severing of the bridges between platelets and crack deflection by the platelets. Fracture of a three-point bent part mainly occurred due to the pull-out of platelets and failure of the polymer phase. The findings of this study suggest promising avenues for future research, including the additive manufacturing of larger objects consisting of nacre-like microstructures.

Vat polymerization
This research is partially supported by the Advanced Research and Technology Innovation Centre (ARTIC), the National University of Singapore under Grant (project number: A-0005947-31-00), and is supported by A*STAR under its IAF PP Grant (Project No. M22K4a0044) under the work package of “Thermal Management of Motor with Ferrofluid Composite Particles,” and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province funded project No. of 20232BCJ22058, entitled “Research on Key Technologies of Metal Ultrathin Plates for High-Power Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Multi-Source Energy Equipment.”
  1. Gao H, Ji B, Jager IL, Arzt E, Fratzl P. Materials become insensitive to flaws at nanoscale: Lessons from nature. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100(10):5597-600. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0631609100
  2. Gibson LJ, Ashby MF, Karam G, Wegst U, Shercliff H. The mechanical properties of natural materials. II. Microstructures for mechanical efficiency. Proc R Soc London A. 1997;450(1938):141-162. doi: 10.1098/rspa.1995.0076
  3. Ashby MF, Gibson LJ, Wegst U, Olive R. The mechanical properties of natural materials. I. Material property charts. Proc R Soc London A. 1995;450(1938):123-140. doi: 10.1098/rspa.1995.0075
  4. Mayer G. Rigid biological systems as models for synthetic composites. Science. 2005;310(5751):1144-1147. doi: 10.1126/science.1116994
  5. Wegst UG, Bai H, Saiz E, Tomsia AP, Ritchie RO. Bioinspired structural materials. Nat Mater. 2015;14(1):23-36. doi: 10.1038/nmat4089
  6. Wang R, Suo Z, Evans A, Yao N, Aksay IA. Deformation mechanisms in nacre. J Mater Res. 2001;16(9):2485-2493. doi: 10.1557/JMR.2001.0340
  7. Rabiei R, Bekah S, Barthelat F. Failure mode transition in nacre and bone-like materials. Acta Biomater. 2010;6(10):4081-4089. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2010.04.008
  8. Zhao H, Yang Z, Guo L. Nacre-inspired composites with different macroscopic dimensions: Strategies for improved mechanical performance and applications. NPG Asia Mater. 2018;10(4):1-22. doi: 10.1038/s41427-018-0009-6
  9. Gan MX, Wong CH. Properties of selective laser melted spodumene glass-ceramic. J Eur Ceram Soc. 2017;37(13):4147-4154. doi: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2017.04.060
  10. Gan MX, Wong CH. Experimental studies on the properties of selectively laser melted alumina-spodumene composite. Ceram Int. 2018;44(15):19008-19015. doi: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.07.144
  11. Griffith ML, Halloran JW. Freeform fabrication of ceramics via stereolithography. J Am Ceram Soc. 1996;79(10):2601-2608. doi: 10.1111/j.1151-2916.1996.tb09022.x
  12. Lee YH, Lee JB, Maeng WY, Koh YH, Kim HE. Photocurable ceramic slurry using solid camphor as novel diluent for conventional digital light processing (DLP) process. J Eur Ceram Soc. 2019;39(14):4358-4365. doi: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2019.05.069
  13. Zhang K, Xie C, Wang G, He R, Ding G, Wang M, et al. High solid loading, low viscosity photosensitive Al2O3 slurry for stereolithography based additive manufacturing. Ceram Int. 2019;45(1):203-208. doi: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.09.152
  14. Wu X, Zhang Z, Ma D, Lu X, Chen Z, Gao Y, et al. Influence of Al2O3 platelets addition on ceramic slurry and local flow induced platelets alignment in ceramic mask stereolithography process. Ceram Int. 2022;48(9): 13134-13143. doi: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2022.01.190
  15. Yang Y, Wang Z, He Q, Li X, Lu G, Jiang L, et al. 3D printing of nacre-inspired structures with exceptional mechanical and flame-retardant properties. Research (Wash DC). 2022;2022:e9840574. doi: 10.34133/2022/9840574 
  16. Li T, Liu Q, Qi H, Zhai W. Prestrain programmable 4D printing of nanoceramic composites with bioinspired microstructure. Small. 2022;18(47):e2204032. doi: 10.1002/smll.202204032
  17. Lewis JA. Colloidal processing of ceramics. J Am Ceram Soc. 2004;83(10):2341-2359. doi: 10.1111/j.1151-2916.2000.tb01560.x
  18. Song F, Soh AK, Bai YL. Structural and mechanical properties of the organic matrix layers of nacre. Biomaterials. 2003;24(20):3623-3631. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(03)00215-1
  19. Goswami A, Umarji AM, Madras G. Thermomechanical and fractographic behavior of poly (HDDA‐co‐MMA): A study for its application in microcantilever sensors. Polym Adv Technol. 2012;23(12):1604-1611. doi: 10.1002/pat.3035
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Back to top
Materials Science in Additive Manufacturing, Electronic ISSN: 2810-9635 Published by AccScience Publishing