Development of a Low Thermal Expansion Sla Resin for Nickel Plating Applications
Stereolithography additive manufacturing is a method of producing parts by stacking layers of a photopolymer resin cured by exposure to UV light . This method of additive manufacturing gives great resolution, but often lacks the material properties of other techniques. One method to increase part performance is the addition of a thin nickel plating to increase strength, heat deflection, and chemical resistance. No solution has been proposed for using nickel-coated parts in harsh environments where the large difference in thermal expansion rates between the nickel plating and base resin cause internal stresses to form. The excellent chemical resistance of the nickel plating would also allow these parts to be used in high-temperature, oxygen-rich environments such as those presented in life support systems. Through the development of a high- performance nanocomposite SLA resin, we hope to achieve parts with good mechanical properties and a CTE similar to nickel.