(580c) Frugal Lucas-Washburn Measurement of Microscale 3D Printing Powders Via Handheld Device

Authors: 
Donovan, K. J., Dragon Materials, LLC
Walker, T. W., South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Rochefort, W. E., Oregon State University
Stasiak, J., HP inc.
Novel imaging techniques of molecular and nanoparticle transport have recently become an area of interest in microfluidic studies, as they can provide non-invasive characterization with high temporal and spatial resolution. The ability to probe surface characteristics and intermolecular interactions by imaging techniques can be challenging. While many investigations have focused on a saturated, pre-wetted porous media, such as glass beads1–10 and soil11–15, little work has been done to probe these interactions in an unsaturated, unsteady flow system, such as capillary flow, with particles on the micron scale.

Via a handheld mobile device, the proposed novel technique records fluidic transport through a packed bed of a powdered substrate. The reported results are the first to investigate capillary flow through porous media in micron-sized polymeric powders. This work begins to probe the physiochemical factors that influence the transport and retention of nano- and molecular-scale solutes in porous polymeric media that are commonly used in powder bed fusion 3D-printing technologies.

Correlating the data between the experiments for microfluidic flow and standard techniques for capillary rise provided an additional technique for measuring contact angle. This technique is advantageous, as the flow cells are cheap, small, and easily portable, illustrating the dominant aspects of frugal science. The ability to implement these simple experiments into a field study is very possible, and it eliminates the hassle that would come from utilizing the capillary-rise technique in a field setting.

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