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FA-ELECTRIC

FA-ELECTRIC: additive manufacturing process and integrated electrical activation of new piezoelectric plastic components for the development of sensors

Description:

ITE and AIMPLAS participate in the project FA ELECTRIC aimed at introducing materials with electrical properties in the additive manufacturing process. Additive manufacturing is becoming a real alternative to conventional machining and transformation processes due to its numerous advantages: faster time to market, speed the process, customization of parts with complete flexibility in design and manufacture, and savings in materials and tools (moulds or dies).

Aims:

Take advantages of additive manufacturing to create, in just one step, parts with sensors that generate an electrical signal in response to mechanical pressure. Sensors and the piece will be manufactured at the same time, instead of being integrated subsequently. Moreover, steps for the manufacture of the sensor will be reduced from six to just one and it will be all made by the same equipment. This will lead to a high versatility in applications and an improvement in the design of the parts, providing sectors, such as toys, sports shoes, medical and electrical-electronic, with new solutions.

Results:

  • Development and use of materials with electrical (conductivity) and mechanical properties (flexibility).
  • Electrical activation of insulating materials in order to provide piezoelectricity to them on the basis of the same principle used for polymeric foam.
  • Integrated manufacture of the complex in just one step by the additive manufacture using the design of a modified 3D printer through which it will be possible to manufacture by using the new materials developed and to activate electrically the parts of the pieces that you want to provide with properties so as to make them work as sensors.

The electric charge generated by applying pressure on the surface can be used to produce light, sound or energy.