Electric poling-assisted additive manufacturing process for PVDF polymer-based piezoelectric device applications
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This paper presents a new additive manufacturing (AM) process to directly and continuously print piezoelectric devices from polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) polymeric filament rods under a strong electric field. This process, called 'electric poling-assisted additive manufacturing or EPAM, combines AM and electric poling processes and is able to fabricate free-form shape piezoelectric devices continuously. In this process, the PVDF polymer dipoles remain well-aligned and uniform over a large area in a single design, production and fabrication step. During EPAM process, molten PVDF polymer is simultaneously mechanically stresses in-situ by the leading nozzle and electrically poled by applying high electric field under high temperature. The EPAM system was constructed to directly print piezoelectric structures from PVDF polymeric filament while applying high electric field between nozzle tip and printing bed in AM machine. Piezoelectric devices were successfully fabricated using the EPAM process. The crystalline phase transitions that occurred from the process were identified by using the Fourier transform infrared spectroscope. The results indicate that devices printed under a strong electric field become piezoelectric during the EPAM process and that stronger electric fields result in greater piezoelectricity as marked by the electrical response and the formation of sharper peaks at the polar β crystalline wavenumber of the PVDF polymer. Performing this process in the absence of an electric field does not result in dipole alignment of PVDF polymer. The EPAM process is expected to lead to the widespread use of AM to fabricate a variety of piezoelectric PVDF polymer-based devices for sensing, actuation and energy harvesting applications with simple, low cost, single processing and fabrication step. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.
author list (cited authors)
Lee, C., & Tarbutton, J. A.