Rapid, High-Detail Additive Manufacturing of Thermoplastics by 

Light-Driven Polymerization at a Liquid-Liquid Interface

 Project Lead: Jada Jackman

In collaboration with:
Professor A. John Hart, MIT
Professor Cecile Chazot, Northwestern

Project Support: NSF CMMI 2114316, Manufacturing PA Innovation Program in partnership with Arkema Inc. 

We are working to develop the first additive manufacturing (AM) technique that utilizes photopolymerization to produce high-resolution objects made of recyclable thermoplastics. Currently, AM techniques for recyclable thermoplastic polymers rely on local heating to melt and reshape the material. Other AM methods use photopolymerization, which can produce parts with superior surface finish and detail. In these methods, the polymer solid polymer forms within a bath containing the monomer. These methods rely on an intrinsic crosslinking mechanism in thermoset polymers-- therefore the intricate detail and quality achieved in the output products come at the expense of compatibility with large-scale recycling processes. 

Energy Recovery Methods and Their
Environmental Impacts for a
Circular Economy of Wind Turbine Blades

 Project Lead: Caroline Cameron

In collaboration with:
Professor Jason Baxter, Drexel University
Lindsey Kauffman, Owens Corning
Professor Sabrina Spatari, Technion

Project Support: Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship

Wind energy is a fast-growing source of renewable energy; however, it is also a fast-growing source of solid waste. While the concrete and steel bases are long-lived, the wind turbine blades are typically replaced every 20-25 years. This project aims to establish realistic end-of-life options for materials from wind turbine blades by examining processing options and identifying re-use pathways with the highest economic value and likelihood of adoption.