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Additive Manufacturing of Energy-Absorbing Materials
The ability to create microstructured advanced materials with cushioning and absorption effects, using 3D printing techniques.
Cellular silicone foams are commonly used as stress cushions in energy absorbing applications. These foams are used to distribute and relieve stress between adjacent parts, dampen shock and vibrations, maintain relative positioning of components, and mitigate the effect of component size variations due to manufacturing or temperature variations. However, the cellular silicone fabrication process is long, difficult and can result in poor material structure or with pores too large for some applications. And parts are limited to constant density; density variations or gradations are difficult. Consequently, there is a need for energy absorbing materials and fabrication methods which are engineered and designed with well-controlled structure and tailored bulk properties.
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