NSF Project on Modifying the Wetting Properties of 3D Printed Structures


The UVA Fluids Research & Innovation Laboratory has access to 3D printers that are based on the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) concept. By using appropriate software (SolidWorks) 3D printed plastic structures are fabricated. The focus of the FRIL is to investigate surface modification techniques (including dip coating, reactive ion etching, chemical etching, sputtering, etc.) in order to tune the wetting characteristics of such 3D structures from superhydrophilic to superhydrophobic. Apart from the fact that such techniques are novel since they do not exist many available methods to modify the surface of 3D structures, they can also be used in technological applications. One of them is improving the cooling efficiency of 3D printed, liquid piston driven heat exchangers by optimizing the liquid flow in the internal parts of these structures with control of the wetting properties. FRIL personnel on this project include: Prof. Eric Loth (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Athanasios Milionis (Post-Doctoral Research Associate).


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