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Mechanical performance of 3D printed interpenetrating phase composites with spinodal topologies


The mechanical response of interpenetrating phase composites (IPCs) with stochastic spinodal topologies is investigated experimentally and numerically. Model polymeric systems are fabricated by Polyjet multi-material printing, with the reinforcing phase taking the topology of a spinodal shell, and the remaining volume filled by a softer matrix. We show that spinodal shell IPCs have comparable compressive strength and stiffness to IPCs with two well-established periodic reinforcements, the Schwarz P triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) and the octet truss-lattice, while exhibiting far less catastrophic failure and greater damage resistance, particularly at high volume fraction of reinforcing phase. The combination of high stiffness and strength and a long flat plateau after yielding makes spinodal shell IPCs a promising candidate for energy absorption and impact protection applications, where the lack of material softening upon large compressive strains can prevent sudden collapse. Importantly, in contrast with all IPCs with periodic reinforcements, spinodal shell IPCs are amenable to scalable manufacturing via self-assembly techniques.

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