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Researchers develop process to 3D-print piezoelectric materials

Researchers develop process to 3D-print piezoelectric materials

Written by David

January 23, 2019

The process of 3D-printing piezoelectric material developed at Virginia Tech could be the next smart material. The piezoelectric materials found in everything from cell phones to musical greeting cards may be getting an upgrade thanks to work performed at Virginia Tech ’s College of Engineering. (Piezoelectric materials convert strain and stress into electrical charges.) Tech assistant professor of mechanical engineering Xiaoyu ‘Rayne’ Zheng and his team have developed methods to 3D-print piezoelectric materials that can be custom-designed to convert movement, impact, and stress from any direction into electrical energy. Conventional piezoelectric materials come in only a few defined shapes and are made of brittle crystal and ceramic—materials that must be manufactured in a clean room. Zheng’s team has developed a 3D printing technique that doesn’t limit piezo materials in terms of their shape or size. Test, Analyze, Characterize A factor in current piezoelectric fabrication is the natural crystal used. […]

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