3D-Printed Elastomers with Self-Healing and Adhesive Properties


3D-Printed Elastomers with Self-Healing and Adhesive Properties



Grant Eifert, Rebekah Revadelo


Presentation: 11:00-11:20 a.m., Kennedy Union 207



Repairable adhesive elastomers are emerging materials employed in compelling applications such as soft robotics, biosensing, tissue regeneration, and wearable electronics. Facilitating adhesion requires strong interactions, while self-healing requires bond dynamicity. This contrast in desired bond characteristics presents a challenge in the design of healable adhesive elastomers. Furthermore, 3D printability of this novel class of materials has received limited attention, restricting the potential design space of as-built geometries. Here, we report a series of 3D-printable elastomeric materials with self-healing ability and adhesive properties. Repairability is obtained using Thiol-Michael dynamic crosslinkers incorporated into the polymer backbone, while adhesion is facilitated with acrylate monomers. The adhesive properties were tested by performing lap shear tests and measured across different lap materials and formulations of the tested material. We successfully 3D printed complex functional structures using a commercial digital light processing (DLP) printer. Shape-selective lifting of low surface energy Teflon objects is achieved using soft robotic actuators with designed geometries, wherein contour matching leads to increased adhesion and successful lifting capacity. The demonstrated utility of these adhesive elastomer materials provides unique capabilities to easily program soft robot functionality.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Robert Lowe

Primary Advisor's Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Stander Symposium, School of Engineering

Institutional Learning Goals

Scholarship; Practical Wisdom; Vocation

3D-Printed Elastomers with Self-Healing and Adhesive Properties