Direct 4D printing of gradient structure of ceramics

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Original languageEnglish
Article number142804
Journal / PublicationChemical Engineering Journal
Online published5 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


Shape-morphing ceramics with complex geometries can be applied in several scenarios; however, the fabrication of such structures remains challenging owing to the brittleness and stiffness of ceramics. This paper proposes a direct four-dimensional (4D) printing technology for achieving and precisely controlling complex ceramic architectures that may be transformed, in a free-standing manner, from a pre-programmed gradient structure after sintering without intervention of a manual physical force and stimuli. The proposed method involves three steps: printing, curing, and sintering. The designability and flexibility of the proposed approach were demonstrated by preparing different topologies, such as fingers in a palm (multi-curvature), leaves (anisotropic morphing), a dragonfly (high-precision localised deformation), and an intricate structure (self-locking). The obtained ceramics exhibited excellent mechanical properties. This study can help establish a novel paradigm for designing ceramics with complex structures, with potential for application in various fields such as aerospace and biomedical engineering. © 2023 Elsevier B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • 4D printing, Additive manufacturing, Gradient structures, Morphing ceramics