In 3D printing, the currently used microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have much lower molecular weights and lower degrees of polymerization than raw cotton-based cellulose, which is why they are much easier to dissolve. This technology provides a potentially novel method to produce raw cotton cellulose based conductive materials with the use of (1) a specific freeze-drying pretreatment methodology to increase viscosity and allow homogeneity to meet 3D printing cellulose standards and (2) a 3D printing layer-by-layer technique to incorporate conductive properties.
Reference Number: D-1166
3D printing, electrical engineering, consumer products
Further, this method has the potential for use in photovoltaic applications such as solar cells, conductive material for biological signal delivery, and as electrical paper and conductive fabric.
Features, Benefits, and Advantages:
Potentially increasing the current market for raw cotton because of the use of cotton derived cellulose.
Increases in 3D printing efficacy
Decrease in cost and material
A U.S. Provisional Patent application will be filed in the near future.
This technology has completed testing and there are no current sources of funding for the research. The next objectives are to replicate real market place products.
Noureddine Abidi, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Plant & Soil Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Yang Hu, Ph.D., Post Doctoral Research Associate, Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Keywords: cotton cellulose, electrical cellulose, cellulose 3D printing