Acoustophoretic Liquefaction for 3D Printing Ultrahigh-Viscosity Nanoparticle Suspensions

Zheng Liu, Wenyang Pan, Kaiyang Wang, Yoav Matia, Artemis Xu, Jose A. Barreiros, Cameron Darkes-Burkey, Emmanuel P. Giannelis, Yiğit Mengüç, Robert F. Shepherd, Thomas J. Wallin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An acoustic liquefaction approach to enhance the flow of yield stress fluids during Digital Light Processing (DLP)-based 3D printing is reported. This enhanced flow enables processing of ultrahigh-viscosity resins (μapp > 3700 Pa s at shear rates (Formula presented.) = 0.01 s–1) based on silica particles in a silicone photopolymer. Numerical simulations of the acousto–mechanical coupling in the DLP resin feed system at different agitation frequencies predict local resin flow velocities exceeding 100 mm s–1 at acoustic transduction frequencies of 110 s–1. Under these conditions, highly loaded particle suspensions (weight fractions, ϕ = 0.23) can be printed successfully in complex geometries. Such mechanically reinforced composites possess a tensile toughness 2000% greater than the neat photopolymer. Beyond an increase in processible viscosities, acoustophoretic liquefaction DLP (AL-DLP) creates a transient reduction in apparent viscosity that promotes resin recirculation and decreases viscous adhesion. As a result, acoustophoretic liquefaction Digital Light Processing (AL-DLP) improves the printed feature resolution by more than 25%, increases printable object sizes by over 50 times, and can build parts >3 × faster when compared to conventional methodologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2106183
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • functional materials
  • polymer composites

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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