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New process for 3D printing Kapton could open doors for printed electronics

New process for 3D printing Kapton could open doors for printed electronics

Written by David

November 21, 2018

A multidisciplinary team from Virginia Tech’s Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII) is pioneering a new additive manufacturing process specifically for processing the material Kapton—arguably one of the most sought-after materials in the aerospace and electronics industries. Kapton is king The process makes it possible to 3D print structures out of Kapton, a polyimide that showcases exceptional thermal and electrical properties. Among its most desirable properties are that it possesses a degradation temperature of about 550° C, it doesn’t dissolve in solvents, it’s an excellent electrical insulator and it is resistant to ultraviolet irradiation. Further, because the material’s molecules are all-aromatic, meaning they contain rings that restrict rotation, Kapton is overall a very stable material. Timothy Long, a professor of chemistry and the director of MII, explained: “[Kapton] can withstand all kinds of harsh environmental insults: radiation, high temperature, chemical reagents. It’s one of these molecules that is the ultimate in […]

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